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Interview with Sun Hyang Ha

Home > Designer Interviews > Sun Hyang Ha

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Sun Hyang Ha (SH) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Sun Hyang Ha by clicking here.

Interview with Sun Hyang Ha at Monday 14th of April 2014
Sun Hyang Ha
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
SH: Majoring in literature at university, I had never imagined I would become a designer. However, I could not suppress the passion I had for jewelry design, and decided to study jewelry design and fabrication.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
SH: I am freelancing for a high-end fine jewelry company in New York City.

FS: What is "design" for you?
SH: It is to visualize what people want to see.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
SH: I like designing classic jewelry with a contemporary twist.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
SH: I have designed a pin with a star ruby and diamonds. I emphasized the star ruby in a hexagon shaped frame and it pleased both my boss and the client.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
SH: My first design was a pair of earrings using beautiful Colombian emeralds.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
SH: Although I use CAD/CAM programs, I still prefer to have jewelry made by metalsmiths because the finish is clean.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
SH: There is no specific time. It is unpredictable.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
SH: While designing, I attach a lot of importance to proportions and maintaining the right balance.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
SH: I feel the same emotions I do when I try to solve math problems.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
SH: It is a feeling that combines the regret and joy of accomplishment at the same time.

FS: What makes a design successful?
SH: It should be fun, wearable, and simple to manufacture.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
SH: According to me, a design should tell a story.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
SH: Designers should make a conscious effort to use recycled metal and ethically sourced gems.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
SH: 3D printing is already dominating jewelry fabrication and will continue to gain in importance.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
SH: I participated in two exhibitions of rings and pins held by my school in Japan but do not have any immediate plans for another one. This is because I am a designer, more than a jeweler.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
SH: It comes from everywhere: nature, architecture, textile, paintings, jewelry by other artists. The list can perhaps go on.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
SH: I would say it is minimalistic.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
SH: Currently, I live in New York. However, there is no denying that I sometimes find inspiration in the architecture and paintings of my country.

FS: How do you work with companies?
SH: I work for a company that manufactures jewelry against orders. I try to produce the best design with the given materials and budget.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
SH: First, they must be ethical. In order to get good designs, a company should respect the designers they choose to work with.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
SH: I always have my sketchbook with me and sketch anything I find interesting, as a reference for future projects.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
SH: Pencil, tracing paper, templates, light pad, and the computer.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
SH: I cannot think of anything beyond sketching and modeling jewelry.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
SH: It is essential for them to enhance their CAD/CAM skills.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
SH: On the positive side, you can create what you want, or help people to create what they aspire for. On the negative side, you may suffer from a lack of imagination and creativity at times, especially, when things are not going so well.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
SH: I try to ensure proportional balance.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
SH: As a jewelry designer, who is neither a jeweler nor art jewelry designer, I believe sketching and computer skills are most important.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
SH: My toolbox has mechanical pencils, sketchbooks, and CAD/CAM software.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
SH: I try out different tools in order to save time. For example, the computer allows me to work faster when I need to simulate designs or work on repetitive elements.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
SH: It depends on the design. It can take anything between a couple of hours and several days.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
SH: "What is the source of your inspiration?"

FS: What was your most important job experience?
SH: It is the current freelance work I do for a company; it has helped me to enhance my knowledge on high-end fine jewelry.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
SH: The company I work for supplies designs and finished jewelry to individual clients, retailers, and high-end jewelry houses.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
SH: I love designing with limited materials supplied by clients, as it pushes me to find the best way of making use of them.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
SH: I would like to take up a full-time assignment with a fine jewelry company.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
SH: I work based on the directions from my boss or by myself.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
SH: Currently, I am working on a Tahitian pearl ring.

FS: How can people contact you?
SH: Through e-mail.

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
SH: Designers do not necessarily have the most original ideas. I believe someone who knows how to develop contemporary ideas can be a good designer.


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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