Hi Hi Cheryl here! i’ll be doing the blog posts for the team for the next 2 weeks so yay <3
Early this week we were very lucky to get the chance to visit the Yamaha factory right here in Hangzhou! You would probably recognize Yahama as the Japanese brand known for their quality music goods such as instruments, speakers and earphones etc. This factory in particular is responsible for the production of guitars and pianos.
We got to tour their production line though sadly we weren’t allowed to take photos 🙁 But trust me when i say that is was truly quite an experience. Even as a guitarist myself, i had never before considered the amount of design thinking that goes into constructing these instruments. Even when it comes to the specific condition of wood used, no expense is spared as the wood undergoes YEARS of treatment (no joke) just to ensure that the best sound quality is achieved. They even have machines that mimic 50 years of natural weather in just a few hours!
Overall, it was just really amazing to observe how an entire complicated process can broken down into minute individual steps and yet the whole process still flows as a smooth and efficient chain. Also the heavy use of machinery and tech to optimize the production process really demonstrates how art and science can come together, breathing new life into the traditional craft of instrument making.
Fun fact: our prof studied in japan and let just say we were all shook when she spoke to the yamaha staff in fluent japanese 😅
Berry fun outing
On Sunday, our prof organised a special cultural activity for us and our pals from theme 6! But of course good things don’t come easy and we first had to survive the 3+hr drive out of the city – safe to safe we were VERY numb by the time we reached.
Our first stop came as quite a surprise to us all, we knew that we were visiting the hometowns of one of our TAs but we did not expect however for him to actually bring us to visit his house too! It really says a lot about the kind of close relationship the TAs here share with our prof that he was wiling to graciously invite all of us foreign kids in (we even met his parents haha). One particularly interesting thing i saw was that they even had a small home based factory in their backyard. Apparently this is fairly common especially around such places in china.
The next thing we did was stuff ourselves FULL of fresh seafood and i don’t just mean the usual fish and what not but even many odd dishes too such as sea snails and frogs. There was probably over 20 dishes in total and it felt bad cause we didn’t finish quite a bit of it however we’ve come to learn that it is simply a cultural thing in china to over order when dining with guest to show that you are a generous host.
After this we got to the highlight of the day BERRY PICKING! specifically 杨梅s (bay berries) which are extremely popular here 🙂 Its quite an odd looking fruit but trust me, it has the most amazing fragrance and taste!
10/10 recommend trying if you ever get the chance
Of course it ain’t all fun and no work, in between all our adventures this week we had several brainstorming sessions as a group to really begin to solidify our product concept. we tried our best to bring back all the design wisdom 3.007 had bestowed upon us but its been quite a challenging task trying to bring together the concepts of sleep, light, intelligent tech and CHI (with a million other considerations in mind).
Taking on a market as saturated as lighting isn’t easy but here’s hoping the new week brings with it new ideas and inspirations! Till next time, 再见 <3