Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Santa, Can I Get A Hat That Fits?
Via Peter Hall (a design writer and lecturer in Austin, and a rice daddy himself), writing in Metropolis magazine, news that Asian heads are in fact differently-shaped than other heads.
In 1998, Burton Snowboards saw that helmet sales in Japan didn't match sales in the US and Europe. When the designer Roger Ball investigated, Japanese shredders told him "We have a different-shaped head than you!"
Now an assistant professor of design in Hong Kong, Ball created a team in 2004 to research Asian head shapes. This research culminates soon in Size China, the world's first digital database of Chinese head and face shapes.
In a nutshell, from the Metropolis article: Western heads are generally more oval and appear to have the corners "filled out". Earlier research reported here on Rice Daddies indicates Asian heads come equipped with better ear wax.
This research data will lead to better-fitting helmet designs for the Asian market (and eBay). It may be too late for my own shredding days, but here's hoping that our kids' heads are well protected.