Today I want to present you the first SEMC Blog’s interview with one famous person from Sony Ericsson company – Suyan Huang, the designer of the new Sony Ericsson T707. Suyan is a French-trained designer from Beijing, China. Screw down the page and you will know some facts from her life, her design background and how she created the T707. As you know, the T707 is new mobile phone of Maria Sharapova. When Suyan created the T707, she was inspired by Maria. “She’s a busy young woman,” said Suyan Huang, “often on the move and travelling and this phone is all about connecting with other people, from the pulsating light effect you can personalise for your favourite contacts to all the options on how you connect with people. We considered her needs as a representative of our target audience for this phone: young and stylish women.”About the T707.
T707 was announced on the 26th of March in Miami, USA. It is pretty nice clamshell, which has 3.2-Megapixel camera, 2.2″ 240×320 pixels TFT screen, small hidden external screen, Gesture control and unique system of light effects. T707 has small sizes: 93x50x14.1mm with weight only 95 grams. The T707 will be available in three different colours: Mysterious Black, Spring Rose and Lucid Blue. Sony Ericsson planned to release this clamshell on the beginning of June 2009.
Q: Hello, Suyan! Let’s start with the questions from your biography. Where did you born and grow up?
A: I was born in Yi Xing in south China, an area famous for teapot design and production. I grew up in Beijing, where I lives now. I also lived in France for four years, where I studied for an MA in product design.
Q: Where do you currently live and work?
A: Beijing, China.
Q: Why did you decide to became the designer?
A: When I was a child, I loved painting and calligraphy. I later chose tostudy graphic design, focusing on communication design, looking at advertising and visual identity. By chance I worked for Plan Creative, a French company, in 1999, on a project for the first continental supermarket in Beijing. I was impressed by their design philosophy and way of working and decided to go to France study design.
Q: When and why did you start work at Sony Ericsson company?
A: July 2006 I start to work at Sony Ericsson, I wanted to work on the Sony Ericsson brand. Sony Ericsson is quite a young company and it needs new, fresh ideas. Fast consumer electronics was a new field for me – I wanted a challenge and a new experience.
Q: Could you tell me please, what hobbies do you have?
A: I like travelling and cooking. Wherever I go, I always look forward to tasting the local food and when I return home I try to make my own interpretation of it. Actually when I studied for my MA in France, I chose a culinary design course. Marc Britillo, my professor, encouraged me to take inspiration from my own culture and create something new in terms of taste and presentation.
Q: Which things can give you inspiration?
A: I think that my culinary design experience influences the way I approach design generally: the fire should be mastered and all the ingredients must be in proportion and blend perfectly.
Q: What is your favorite colour and season of the year?
A: I love tender green, it gives fresh and new feeling. My favorite season is autumn, because it’s the best weather in Beijing.
Q: What is your design background?
A: My background is in graphic design. After working for Plan Creative, I went to France, to study design at L’ecole superieur d’art et design de Reims. Whilst in France I worked with well-known designers, learning a lot from them,such as Delo Lindo, Pierre Charpin and Matt Sindall. When I returned from France I joined Sony Ericsson’s Creative design centre in China.
Q: Have you designed something else except mobile phones?
A: I’ve designed a wide variety of things, including ceramic lamps, a textile pattern design proposal for Longchamp, a cocktail glass for Bombay sapphire and the new packaging for KUB OR.
Q: Which Sony Ericsson phones have you designed, beside the T707?
A: I’m working on color and material, working with the design team on mobile handsets including the W660, S302, G700, W508.
Q: And what product was designed first: W508 or T707?
A: Actually they are designed at the same time, beause they need to share the same core, mechanical point of view.But should create the different look, this is quite difficult.
Q: T707 has codename Elle. Did you choose this codename?
A: No, not me choose it, it’s the project name already planned before start the design.
Q: When you designed the T707, how did you know that it will be “on trend”?
A: At Sony Ericsson we create our consumer and design trends. They are created a year ahead of the Sony Ericsson designers using them, so that our designs are always a step ahead of the consumer and leading the market.
Q: T707 is new phone of Maria Sharapova. Have you inspired by Maria Sharapova, when you designed the T707?
A: She’s a busy young woman, often on the move and travelling and this phone is all about connecting with other people, from the pulsating light effect you can personalise for your favourite contacts to all the options on how you connect with people (SMS, mobile blogging etc). We considered her needs as a representative of our target audience for this phone: young and stylish women.
Q: When do you started work with design of the T707? And during what time it was designed?
A: I remember around last April was started the project. In September was made the 1st build.
Q: Readers of SEMC Blog want to know, where do you received your inspiration for the T707?
A: This phone was built around the idea of rainbows. Rainbows are a vision of colour and light, dream-like and mysterious illusions. The rainbow’s form is an arched curve, which connotes roundness and softness. This translated into the design of the handset through the 5 colour choices and the gradients and shadings in each handset. The front side of the phone has a mirror-style, polished feel and on the front sub-display there is the two rainbow circle graphics which integrate in the background colours. When you receive a call on this phone the rainbow circles radiate light. To complete the rainbow concept, the centre select button, inside the phone, has a rain drop/ripple style and lights up the gradients of colour around it.
Q: What materials are using in the T707?
A: Basic material is plastic (PC plus ABS). Front cover is the vacume metalised gradiant color, mirror effet. The frame use the metalic paint to achieve the metal effect. Inside keypad surface use spinline texture, make it satin effect, the high polished surface implement the metalic, chrome ink to achieve the metal shinning effect.
Q: What design feature makes the T707 unique?
A: The front side of the phone has a mirror-style, polished feel and on the front sub-display there is the two rainbow circle graphics which integrate in the background colours. When you receive a call on this phone the rainbow circles radiate light. To complete the rainbow concept, the centre select button, inside the phone, has a rain drop/ripple style and lights up the gradients of colour around it.
Q: The phone has three final colours, but were planned even more colours. What are they are?
A: Total was planed 5 colors: Mysterious Black, Lucide Blue, Spring Rose, Lime Forest, Sensitive Bronze.
Q: By the way, what is your favourite colour of the T707?
A: Lime forest is my favourite colour variant for T707. It gives a fresh feeling, the colour contrast on the front cover is really big, from the lime to the deep green. When the light is pulsing it almost feels alive. This color was already arranged by T-mobile.
Q: Can we see in the future even more colours for this clamshell?
A: I hope we could make more colors, if there’s a request from the marketing.
Q: Are you satisfied with the design of the T707?
A: I’m quite satisfied with the result, but still there’s some effect we can’t acheive perfect.
Q: Do you have a mobile phone? It is the T707?
A: Sure, but not T707, because it’s not anounced yet. I’m using W508 now.
Q: Have you started work on the next Sony Ericsson phone? Which phone it is?
A: Yes, still some project is on going. New project will be in the classic category, our daily life tool.