SIEW AND YANG DESIGN OFFICE
Study Model: HF01
DECONSTRUCTING
FAMILIARITY
Published: March 2019
Deconstruction is the basis of our design methodology — Conscious Subtraction. As such, it is most logical that we create Hyperfunctional forms by means of deconstruction. In this process however, we run the risk of having an outcome that is entirely unrecognizable or abstract, rather than one that is familiar but different.

Familiarity is a key consideration in our design process. As designers, we undoubtedly know our designs inside out. However, a new design is never familiar to someone seeing it for the first time. To us, the role of a designer is not to shock but to surprise, and familiarity allows such a possibility.

Deconstruction that takes place through the introduction of a novel form which has conformed to its required functions (form follows function), may come as a shock. On the other hand, re-presenting a function in an irregular manner on a familiar form often surprises, as it changes what the form can do in addition to its primitive functions (form allows functions). As such, our process of deconstruction often takes place with the introduction of irregularities within the limitations of an existing archetype.



An incision enables the movement of ‘passing through’. A card with a single regular round incision suggests its usage as a hang tag. Having an unusual incision or multiple incisions retains the familiarity of a card and hang tag, but does not dictate what goes through the incisions, or how they should pass through. Thus, one is familiar with what this card does, but doesn’t limit what it could be (refer to Fig. A).

In the landscape of digital-based businesses, the gesture of exchanging contact information has evolved. HF01 was an attempt to expand the usage of a business card by integrating the function of a hang tag. The result is an exchange of the information during the process of unwrapping the package (refer to Fig. B).

Without HF01 looking too much like a regular hang tag over a business card, an irregular way of presenting the function of ‘passing through’ was applied. Atypical die-cut incisions inserted in different positions suggest further usage of the business card as a hang tag, decorative accessory on the packaging, and more (refer to Fig. C).

A Hyperfunctional form is an open-ended form. This means that it is a form that is to be completed by the end user, through its usage. The result is at times, surprising. In the case of HF01, the end user (client) discovered different ways of using it as a ribbon buckle. This formed the foundation of her customized packaging system (refer to Fig. D).


HF01 changed our concept of completion in design. To complete a design doesn’t mean to cast its usage in permanence, but allow room for it to evolve. A Hyperfunctional form possess such a possibility.



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