Today we visit master Gan Xiuhao. I always think of the famous movie Forrest Gump, because we all call him “A-Gan” (Chinese translation of Forrest Gump) in the office. Just like Forest Gump, A-Gan is innocent and kind-hearted. While Forest Gump has amazing athletic talents and lives in Alabama, A-Gan has amazing prototyping skills and lives in Taiwan.
Frankly speaking there is not a lot of interaction between myself and the Prototype Development Department. Located in the depths of the basement floors, the PDD is shrouded in mystery, and behind their large locked doors, they host monstrous machines of all shapes and sizes.
Turns out that during a product’s design, it is drawn in concept, tested, proofed, then enters mass production. After the drawing, it goes to the PDD and they make a prototype. The prototypes that the PDD makes are considered highly confidential, but they allow the company to rapidly evolve a design. Every six months during our departmental sharing, the new materials and processes they presented were marvelous.
The working area of the PDD is very charming. After walking through the doors, you will see a large BEONE on the wall. This homophone of B1 conveys the unity of the PDD. There are also easter eggs all over the office: interesting quotes, hidden graphics, and other ASUS memorabilia.
Left: Art installation composed of ASUS ZenPads. The arrangement of each piece has been meticulously aligned. The office is filled with various materials and test projects, illustrating the maker spirit of the PDD.
The PDD is very hands-on.
PDD hosts many workshops that have a heavy influence on the front-end inspiration of the Design Center.
After studying Industrial Design at Donghai University, he moved to Kaohsiung to serve in the military. After that, A-Gan started his career as a designer.
One of A-Gan’s influential works is his mini letterpress machine. “In concept, I hope culture and design can complement each other, advocating form follows function. Still, we will encounter some unexpected difficulties.” A-Gan mentioned when he encounters these difficulties, he takes a slow and steady breath and begins to solve them.
While his time spent at the ASUS Design Center has not been very long, the growth during this short period has been excellent. A-Gan has studied various processes for the PDD and proposed many innovations that have been introduced to mass production.
Halfway through the interview, A-Gan asked me: “You speak pretty quickly. Would you feel comfortable to continue an interview with someone who speaks as slow as I?” I told him, “Of course!” Indeed, A-Gan speaks slowly and patiently, this is something I should learn from him.
After asking A-Gan what his greatest strength was, it seemed difficult for him to answer. He is a very humble individual. After my undeniable perseverance, he responded cooperatively: he felt more patient than others. If he felt something needs to be done, he will do it well. I admire this Forrest.
At the end of our interview, I asked A-Gan for his motto. He quoted Andy Warhol: “It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep walking.” This reminds me even more of Forrest Gump running. Both A-Gan and Forrest Gump continue to push forward, but they don’t know how many people have been moved along the way.