WantedDesign Manhattan 2021 Launch Pad Lighting Winner: Echo Zhan
We were proud to again be a partner and lead the jury for WantedDesign Manhattan’s 2021 Launch Pad alongside sponsor American Standard. Lighting jury members Jean-Jacques L’hénaff, LIXIL Global Design, AMERICAS, Shant Madjarian of Juniper, Rosie Li of Rosie Li Studio, and Anishka Clark of ISHKADESIGNS recently met to decide the winner, and I must say that it was a difficult decision! Congrats to Echo Zhan for Revolve!
Echo talks to Design Milk about her work, winning this year’s Launch Pad Lighting category, and what’s next:
How did you come up with the Revolve concept?
My research on the relationship between daily activities and physical footprints inspired me to design a light that can bring subtle changes to a limited environment. The exact idea came up during experiments playing with various materials and movements, searching for dynamic lighting.
What has been the biggest influence for you in your design work?
I love that conversation in the Pixar movie telling a story about a fish frustratingly searching for the ocean but not realizing it was already in it. For me, I customize my design process so that I can enjoy every moment of it, not just aim for that final rendering or model. And that’s why I took the experiment approach over sketching when designing this light.
What would be the best result from your product’s use?
I wish this piece of light could be a soothing and relaxing element in a living or workspace. I wish the person who has this light would find peace and joy in their daily life.
What were some of the challenges in creating your product and how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge was to translate a rough experiment into a consumer product. I break the challenges into small steps, starting from cardboard and paper, using existing components to achieve the effect, then solving the issues occurring along the way, one by one.
How has the pandemic changed your perspective on design and/or life?
Due to the pandemic, I spent one and a half years at home in China, taking Zoom classes, being away from my friends. That experience allowed me to find peace with myself and appreciate the happiness I can get from doing creative work.
Now that you’ve won the WantedDesign’s “Best of Launch Pad,” what do you plan on doing next?
I am developing the design of the revolve wall light in terms of material and finishes, design for manufacturing, and assembly. I also wish to meet manufacturers during the show to see if there’s an opportunity to put this light into production.