The seamless and transparent characteristics of glass make it one of the materials in favour for minimalist designs in both architectural projects and home furnishes. Focusing on industrial design, glass has been utilised in their designated purposes, be it a vase, a bottle or a lamp with different forms. While this aspect of functional design has helped streamlining many extraneous decorative elements, it also hinders with creations that entice new ways to look and to use. With projects like Bubble from Yuhsien Design Studio, it makes one think about the fine line between experimentations and (un)necessities in today’s oversaturated market.
Yuhsien Lin founded his namesake design studio in 2017 after graduating from Domus Academy with a degree in Product Design and working for a furniture design company in Milano. With a new playground, the designer envisioned many possibilities in multiple scales—from furnitures and homewares to smaller objects that question human interactions. Bubble, completed in 2019 as a part of Paris Design Week, differs from the rest of Lin’s diverse portfolio due to its nature: being an additional widget to an already existing product. Inspired from the ephemerality of bubbles and their ever-changing shapes, Lin imagined a series of fragile-looking vessels that serve as protective layers for equally fragile objects inside. The result is a collection of flower covers made of glass with organic forms, mouth-blown and hand-cut by glass craftsmen in Taiwan, China.
Bubble was specifically designed to fit a small vase that holds a modest stem of flowers. Its configuration reminds one of Ikebana—the Japanese art and philosophy of flower arrangement, but with an additional element. This new inclusion makes one think carefully on the balance between the old and new as well as inside and outside, delivering a new interaction of not only the hands but also the mind. When put together, the composition gives an image of preservation an artefact. The presentation increases the value for the inner content, whereas it is usually exposed and overlooked. The pristine glass dome is voluminous enough to maintain the humidity level required to sustain plants while constructing a swaying visual like flowing bubbles being carried across the air.
While it is important to polish existed products to create a more refined experience, it is as important to build new experience for the users in order to push new boundaries in the creative industry, which in my opinion, is undergoing a halting moment. Whimsical designs like Bubble will not solve existed problems with human-to-product interactions, but it and projects alike will give fresh air and new perspectives to the demanding market of industrial designs.