Raft Wong: Staying True To Himself

A subtle yet direct designer
Raft is the founder and design director of Rcube Design yet his biography is no where to be seen on its corporate website. The brand is committed to bringing inspirations and uniqueness to everyday life through innovation and practical solutions by “geometric design”.

Raft has been a product designer for over 15 years and his design works have been recognized by the Red Dot Award, IF design award, K-design award, Hong Kong Smart Design Award, Asia Design prize award over the past ten years. Raft couldn’t single out a product as his ‘most proud of’ design project though Rcube products are being sold through French and German distributors in Europe over the years, and some even at MoMA. It is because “The best design is always the next design”. To Raft, there is always room for improvement, and such a drive for excellence keeps pushing him forward. This leaves us wondering what is considered a good design by this self-demanding designer? Raft admires the very first Apple Iphone, not solely for its aesthetic and simple appearance, but for its revolutionary power that has facelifted mobile phone and changed our style of life so as our perception of a phone. In short, it is a world-changing design. Instead of setting the bar high for himself, Raft is committed to sweat the small stuff that would make life better and brighten up our everyday.
A designer going after vibrant materials
Raft admired the work of Naoto Fukasawa, a Japanese industrial designer, whose elegant, minimalist designs feature remarkably simple forms seem so natural yet clever to Raft that leaving him feelings of excitement as well as upset about not coming up with such brilliant idea himself.

Natural materials are preferred for his design for environmental reasons, as well as his liking of the touch and ever-changing nature of those materials. For example, resin and concrete take a long time to dry and set, that the final results are so unpredictable and may bring about surprises. Primary wood ages and changes color over time, and brass oxidized over time. These materials keep changing over time through environmental factors and human touch that the final outcome may not match with the designer’s expectation.
A designer who calls himself weird
Noticing the characteristics of materials in such depth requires detail-oriented eyes and mind. Raft agreed that his observant nature gives him an edge on the designer role. Design that comes from life could be used in daily life naturally. In the interview, Raft however called himself a weirdo who contemplates on ideas that are exotic to others.

Raft was the only candidate achieving grade A that year in A level Design and Technology exam but got an unpromising grade for English language, which has regrettably faded his confidence in communication skills. It was fortunate that he had picked design which has become his means of expression. The Invisi Pen, which won Gold Award at the Hong Kong Smart Design Award 2020, invites everyone to leave the virtual social media and pick up a pen to write a letter, a greeting card, or a postcard to friends. This urge to keep the personal touch in the digital era sounds like a throwback to the pre-smartphone era.

Raft Wong
Design director & founder, Rcube Design Studio Limited
Raft is a Hong Kong designer interested in simple design and loves to use natural materials. He has been an industrial product designer for over 15 years and has also worked with designers from various countries. Over the last 10 years, Raft’s effort has been recognized internationally. He has won Red Dot Award 2014,  iF design award 2015,  K-design award 2015,  Hong Kong Smart Good design award 2016 to 2020,  Asia Design Prize 2018, 2019, Golden Pin Design award  2020, etc. 


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