Introducing "MADO" – one of our most recent designs for Projects Watches. The Japanese word for window, MADO was selected as the name because the design becomes a perfectly proportioned window through which time may be viewed. Donald Strum, Principal of Product Design for MGA&D, shares the inspiration behind the design and how his team brought it to life.
The Projects Watches tag line: "Architecture you can wear" celebrates the importance architecture and design play in an individual's everyday life and is a vision MGA&D embraces wholeheartedly. This shared philosophy is what fueled MGA&D's 30+ year relationship with Projects Watches which began with the "OH Watch", named for its resemblance to the letter "O". It quickly became recognized as a classic design at an affordable price; an excellent example of the democratization of design the late Michael Graves and the firm embraces.
Over the ensuing three decades, MGA&D has designed many important watches for Projects Watches, each uniquely inspired, yet all addressing form, function and feeling to create timepieces with both purpose and personality.
MGA&D's designers recognize the importance of grounding their designs in the familiar so that an individual can connect on an emotional level. "Our most popular and enduring product designs are those that strike people's senses. Just look at how popular the Alessi teakettle family remains," adds Strum. "When we begin to design, we look inward and call upon what I refer to as our collective 'amalgamation of memory' for inspiration."
For MADO, Strum recalled a vivid memory from his youth. "As a kid I was enthralled with Formula One racing. I can remember Steve McQueen wearing this cool Heuer Monaco watch in the 1971 movie classic Le Mans. I desperately wanted one. What stuck with me then and stayed with me throughout the years was the juxtaposition of the square face with the round dial." That was the first kernel of inspiration for the MADO watch. ”We wanted MADO to express a solidity of form inside and out - as if it were chiseled out of an ingot of steel. Our second source of inspiration came from something very close to us: a picture frame we designed for the Target Collection featuring an unusual chamfered edge on only two sides of the frame.