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Wooden phone "case"


Project Type: Critical design / Grad studio 

Date: Fall 2018

Location: Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)


Critical design is designed to find and raise questions, especially in those controversial social issues. In this way, design becomes a medium of communication. This kind of design does not consider the problem from the perspective of human factors, that is, it does not aim to let users use the product better and faster, but aims to use the design to arouse people's reflection on the "social convention", which is a more heuristic work. This is a kind of result of the design discipline from efficiency, context, to feltness and experience. Undoubtedly, the study in this semester has given me fresh and deeper thinking, and more importantly, it has given me a fresh understanding of the industrial design.


My topic from the very beginning of social media to the later time wasting and then back to social media, I inadvertently formed a circle, and all of them are inevitably related. With the development of the Internet and other media, people are becoming more and more dependent on electronic products and social media. This even causes different degrees of social problems. People complain that they waste more and more time on social media, but people still do not stop or reduce the waste of their time. What's more, social media gradually become the main reason for reducing people's efficiency and productivity. So, what is the relationship between technology, social media, time and human beings? Is it really a waste of time that people think it is? Actually, people need some time to waste. Every minute of our life is not really wasted, every minute has its meaning. How to waste time at the right time is the key. Also, what could mobile phones be other than being a medium for social media?


The objects I designed require people to use their mobile phones to match them. Object 1 is a desk lamp. It has no light bulbs and no power. It requires you to turn on the flashlight of the phone and put the phone into it, thus forming a bright desk lamp. If there is no interference from mobile phone, people can concentrate on reading, people still using their phone, but use it to read, not paly with their phone. Object 2 is a traditional Chinese massager. The difference is that people need to turn on the vibration mode and put the phone in. The vibration of the phone can enhance the massage effect. Object 3 is a toy car. People need to put their mobile phones in and open their pets' favorite video, so that pets can chase toy cars and play with them. Object 4 is a time counter. People turn on music, put the phone in, and the phone slides slowly from the top to the bottom, which takes 10 minutes. The phone can't be taken out until it slides to the bottom. These 10 minutes are the time to rest, to enjoy, to refresh your mind or body. I used cherry wood to make these objects and chose wax to finish them. This is because I want to keep them looking natural, which is in obvious contrast to the technology. I want people to think about these objects when they see them, and I think I've created a set of objects that can spark a lot of debate, and I'm pretty happy about that.



In the Industrial Design Graduate Biennial Show 2019


Turn on my flashlight to read,

turn on my vibrate to massage,

turn on the video to play,

turn on the music to relax.


– by your phone.

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