“The New Order project came from a doodle,” says designer William Kang. He started with the rhino, and, since he likes to work in threes, added two other pachyderms: an elephant and a hippo. While Kang has done work in fashion, furniture, housewares, consumer electronics, and more, Blank William was a project he wanted to develop that he could have complete ownership of. Plus, he wanted a way to celebrate the release of The Force Awakens.
Kang uses a fluid process, working from sketches to multiple CAD packages to quick renders and back again, which allows him to progress toward a finished piece while still being able to backpedal and tweak details.
To make the physical sculpture, Kang worked with his fabricator friend Vince Su. They make silicone molds from 3D-printed parts, then mold wax prototypes that they dip into a ceramic slurry, reinforced with refractory sand. They then use the lost wax method and pour liquid metal into the mold. The helmets are stainless steel painted with an automotive finish, and they’re supported with a metal stem fixed into a marble block. Each helmet takes a couple of months to make.
Kang says his interests jump from design and art to tech, fashion, pop culture, politics, science, and whatever else grabs his attention. He draws inspiration from everywhere, so he says the hardest part of his process is settling on an idea, as well as the communication and marketing.