Sputnik

Reinterpretations are crucial to constantly improve and innovate designs. Taking cues from childhood memories, Nathan Yong introduces playful elements and nostalgic elements into a pen holder, redefining office supplies in contemporary contexts.

Based in Singapore, Nathan Yong is an industrial designer starting as a product developer to master the art of production—a highly important link, which is often disregarded, between designing and realising a particular design. With Sputnik—a modern take on the pen holder—the designer is inspired by the spinning top. Here, the design is represented through a cylindrical volume of marble with a conic end and four simple indentations.

Due to physical qualities, Sputnik always reclines on a circular circumference when it’s at rest. This poetic gesture is a minimal touch of Nathan’s sensibility toward products with both their freedom and restraints. The use of marble as the main material adds a subtle and texturised pattern, as well as negates the complex process of producing form as a singular object, to brighten up the usually ordinary workspace.

While the concept of work-and-play has been made accessible in many creative offices, its scale has always been grand with a dedicated space. Therefore, Sputnik is the designer’s response to transforming the mind through smaller matters and staying elegant while doing so.