Working in Taiwan, I deal with some pretty strange design briefs. My boss – the great grandson of the late president, Chiang Kai-shek – appeared on a TV talk show and managed to lose a bet with the host, Tao Zi. The forfeit? We had to design a wedding ring for her.
I am sure it seemed logical to my boss to give the task to a British industrial designer with zero jewellery experience, and I had a frantic two weeks to come up with a concept. I met the celebrity couple, and for the whole time they held hands, so I suggested that we cut a diamond in two and give half to each of them. I then went one step further and mounted the pieces on the inside: to show off the rocks, the rings had to be removed.
Half the media were aghast at the concept – ‘Cut a diamond in half?’ – but the rest loved the irony that reducing the value of the jewel, of course, mattered little if the couple spent the rest of their lives together.
Arriving at the workshop to inspect the pieces, I was a little shocked to meet camera crews from five TV stations and eight newspapers.
‘The cameras go live across Asia in one minute – please tell us about your concept…’