While our gadgets are becoming chicer and sleeker, the same can not be said about the (almost) indispensable (laptop) mouse. However, this new concept design by Taiwanese designer, Shane Chen, is set to change that. Inspired by the classic Lounge Chair and Ottoman by Charles and Ray Eames, this design concept brings a new visual language to an otherwise boring product.
With a background in electronics design and art training from Pratt Institute, Shane Chen loves to work hands on and combine aesthetics with practicality in his work. Paying tribute to the legendary designers, his concept addresses the ergonomics and style of a computer mouse from the perspective of designing furniture. Like a mini version of the ottoman (part of Eames chair), this mouse is made with bent plywood, leather, and plastic, blending the boundary between furniture and electronics.
“When I worked in Taiwan, the design firm I worked for focused on consumer electronics design, which got me involved in many computer mouse projects. It was quite enjoyable, yet repetitive, so as I came to Pratt, I relearned the freedom of creation; I started to design in a different way than I used to,” says Chen about his initial years in the industry. Aside from designing, you will also see him dabble in digital painting, sculpturing, and 2D/3D animation in his studio.
It all started as fun when initially a group that he was a part of encouraged him, and other budding designers to create something different. His initial reaction to designing a mouse was, “not again,” says Chen, and yet took it up as a challenge. He decided to take a chance and design a mouse totally different from what he had created before, in terms of the material used.
Growing up, he had seen the Eames chair, and was taken in by how visually appealing it was. However, back then, neither did he know the legends nor did he have any idea that he would end up becoming a designer. Yet, the visual stayed with him. Years later, when he started studying design, he began appreciating why the techniques used by Eames were so path-breaking, including, “the leg splint, which is, for me, a great example for presenting the function and aesthetics of design,” he explains.
And it is this combination of aesthetics and functionality along with the usage of the original technique and materials used in the Eames chair that one can find in his concept of what he calls the ‘Lounge’ mouse.