How did you get started? "Through 20 years of product-development experience with Excellent, a Guangzhou-based exporter of home and garden furniture, working closely with our European customers [principally in Nordic countries], I gained a full understanding of market needs. In 2014, with a view to designing and manufacturing products that could help solve everyday living problems, I co-founded Foxcat, a research and design subsidiary of Excellent, with business partner Maria Yim."
What is the NI Parasol? "It's a new and innovative garden parasol [priced from HK$4,219] suitable for both day and nighttime use. During the day, it will keep you cool in the shade. At night, the NI folds up and transforms into a beautiful lighting torch. The finger-sensing, one-touch dimmer allows the user to control the light easily. NI uses a low voltage 12-volt LED output driver to power a system of more than 2,000 0.1-watt LEDs while generating very little heat.
What has the reception been to it? "It won the Red Dot and Good Design awards in 2014 and an iF Design award in 2015. The NI Parasol has been exhibited at Maison&Objet Paris, Spoga+Gafa Germany, 100% Design London and the International Design Furniture Fair Hong Kong."
What is your design ethos? "Sustainability and eco-design are the cornerstones of my designs. We use only recycled and recyclable materials for the production and pick suppliers with strict sustainability standards. Our products are durable and long-lasting but the design must also be multifunctional, to optimise the raw materials. So, why should a parasol be used just in day time? Why not 24 hours? This is the thinking behind my work."
For more information on the NI Parasol, visit www.foxcatdesign.com