Founded in 2013, ANNXANNXDESIGN is the brainchild of Han-Yin Hsu of Los Angeles, CA. Originally from Taiwan Han-Yin received her Master’s Degree at the Southern California Institute of Architecture but quickly realized that working in architectural offices and completing interior design assignments were not fulfilling her desire to express herself and share her creations with the masses.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to create ANNXANNXDESIGN?
Han-Yin: I have always liked to make art with my hands since I was young, especially 3-dimensional sculpting. I never get tired when I am in the zone, playing with materials like paper and metal wire for soldering. I love the way I can express a thought beyond spoken language and describe a feeling through my designs. It’s able to go beyond language because it’s something physical, and because it can be stored and transferred digitally, it can also be widespread.
My designs are about showing the strength of the sensitive mind—a tender strength, it can be smooth and soft, yet it can be strong and powerful, too. Jewelry has an intimate relationship to the body that I can explore as well. I like to think of the body as a landscape for jewelry, and my designs are focused on expressing the elegance of this landscape, and exploring the gesture of each element as it rests on the skin
What kind of software do you use? Has your background in architecture helped with the design of your pieces?
Han-Yin: I learned about 3D printing during graduate school at SCI-Arc. It was common to use 3d printing for all our architectural models, and we also got to play around a bit with 3D scanning. The software I use is mainly Maya and Rhino. Spending 10 years in architecture school and work environments has obviously had a strong impact on my designs.
Even at small scale, the relationship between object and person is as important as it is in architecture. When designing jewelry, I like to think about how the forms lay on the body. Not just the side other people see, but also the side that touches your skin. I tend to use those elements to build a micro environment with a unique atmosphere.
What are some struggles that you’ve been dealing with regarding starting your business?
Han-Yin: As a designer, I never feel the final work is perfect enough. The moment I finish a project, I’ve already started to judge its imperfections. On the other hand, that pushes me to design the next one which is closer to something that moves me. The struggle for me is finding the moment to finish a design and move on. For me, fashion is expressing the unique charm that can be found in seeing yourself differently. That is an essential part of my brand. I hope my designs stimulate people to see things with fresh eyes.
Seeing the objects that appear every day with a different approach makes me feel happy and inspired. I want to create that kind of sensation for others, too.
Are you pieces specifically designed with 3D printing in mind, or are there other ways to create these pieces? What kind of materials are you most familiar with and are you thinking of experimenting with new materials for the end of 2015 / 2016?
Han-Yin: One of my designs, the Mahuika necklace, which just won first place in Design Museum Boston’s Rapid Jewelry Competition, opens a new direction that I would like to explore more of. Through this design, I hope to integrate the uncompromising form allowed by 3D printing with the passionate spirit of fine silver craftsmanship.
I prototype my designs in-house with a Form1+ and outsource the final designs to a commercial SLS printer. I am hoping to print my new designs in the future using multi-color and multi-material 3D printing with something like the new Objet500 Connex3.
What are you excited about in the near future (a product, events or unique opportunity)? Or maybe you just attended events that you’d like to share with us?
Han-Yin: I started my brand with jewelry, but I am also interested in designing objects that relate to other parts of the body, everyday household objects, and furniture. I hope to keep scaling up!
Where do you think the 3D printing industry is going in the future?
Han-Yin: I think it will keep getting faster, cheaper, more diverse in terms of materials. I think it will really become commonly used for daily life. Of course, design and imagination are still more important than the process by which things are made, but 3D printing really opens up what is possible. If there are more and more recyclable and green materials used in the industry, that will be a big plus!
*If you are (or will be) in the Boston area Han-Yin’s work is currently on exhibit at the Design Museum Boston until November 10th, 2015.