Distil Union designers and co-founders Lindsay and Nate took a product development trip to Asia this past month! They spent a lot of the time in meetings with our manufacturing team, but managed to connect with friends and squeeze in plenty of sight-seeing along the way.
+ One of the primary reasons for the visit was to meet vendors at the MM&T Materials Fair. As product designers, this was a fabulously efficient way to meet so many new suppliers all in one place. You can only do so much from a computer, and making those face-to-face introductions and interacting with new materials up close will help us bring you better products!
+ Hong Kong served as home base while we traveled over to mainland China for product prototyping, and to Japan for a little sight seeing. We couldn't resist – a good friend of ours lives in Tokyo, and it was peak cherry-blossom season!
+ Hong Kong greeted us with bright lights, yummy soup dumplings and other tasty dishes we just can't get here in the states (or at least not down here in Charleston, SC).
+ PMQ is a must-stop (and shop) when we're in Hong Kong. It's 7 floors of shops and artist/design/architecture studios across two buildings of pure inspiration. In fact, our first visit to PMQ was instrumental in manifesting Objective Design Shop within our workspace – the shop-cum-studio vibe is electric, and we decided it was something we just had to experience for ourselves.
+ Our time in Japan consisted of exploring the city streets, cat cafes and amazing food of Tokyo with our buddy Josh, but we also left the city to check out the natural offerings of Hakone. A beautiful mountain town, Hakone is home to a famous Shinto Shrine, Hakone Jinja, as well as volcanic hot springs and peaceful hikes with views of Mt. Fuji.
+ The journey back to Hong Kong included a night in a capsule hotel called Nine Hours in Japan's Narita Airport. The gender-separated locker rooms were like high-school-meets-Ikea. The pods are big enough to sit and write a few postcards in before lowering your shade and drifting off to the built-in noise machines. The concept is awesome as long as 1.) everyone follows the rules, and 2.) slumberers are able to refrain from snoring and having nightmares. Perhaps they should include earplugs with the complimentary slippers!
We're excited to say we came home with several prototypes for new products in-hand, but you'll have to stay tuned to find out what they are. Joining our mailing list or following our Instagram are the best ways to be a DU Insider.