Foldable Ming Style Armchair
The concise lines and elegant structure of traditional Ming-style armchairs are of great significance and representation in furniture design history. However, they are now declining due to stereotyped impressions or become exquisite products that's beyond the reach of the commons.
Breaking away from the old impression of Chinese furniture and adapt with the modern furniture trend of highly flexibility and personalization. A new armchair design is born which can be folded and stored instantly. Starting a dialogue with past and modern Chinese furniture. Revive it from the history and open it up again to our daily.
The forms of Chinese furniture evolved along three distinct lineages which date back to 1000 BC, which evolved independently from Western furniture system. The Ming dynasty is very much seen as the golden age of furniture production in China. When you look at a piece of Ming furniture, the first thing that strikes you is its simplicity and their designs are not divorced from the function: Ming pieces were made with a purpose, and their clean lines celebrate the material used.
Ming pieces were produced 400 years or more ago, and it's spirit have really stood the test of time, they are still influencing design wildly.
However, nowadays, many Chinese traditional cultures are regarded as a symbol of tackiness and stubborn in Pan-chinese publics’ impressions. Therefore, traditional Chinese furniture has gradually disappeared from the home of modern daily life, or it has become a boutique display that is out of reach by the generals.
The design hopes to keep the ancient spirit of the original Chinese culture and reinterpret it through modern design vocabulary.
MODERN FURNITURE DESIGN TREND
Trend of urbanization throughout the globe causing people migrating to the city from the rural area. As a result, public sharing space was become bigger and more essential to an urban area than ever. On the other hand, personal space tends to be decreasing. For instance, co-working space trend was solid evidence of this phenomena.
Therefore, the modern furniture design trend focuses more and more on flexibility and storage issue in order to fulfill the needs of multi-functioning space.
Simplify the line structure of the Ming-style circle chair, but inherit the structural vocabulary of the past.
In the Chinese furniture system of "No waist beam chair category" The design language is inherited from the Chinese ancient building structure which uses wooden bolt large column structure as a seat surface fixing measure. Try to represent that spirit in the design. The upper horizontal bar becomes the fixing bar of the seat for folding design. The legs are also cylindrical and connected to the gooseneck ( Supporting structure of armrest ).
TRIAL AND ERROR
In the process of design, failure is inevitable. The quest of keeping the Chinese furniture language with foldable structure IS NOT really as simple as it seems.
The final model is the 13th structural iteration. In this process, I used plastic water pipe as my prototype material, and verified the idea directly by making prototype models and revising 3D CAD at the same time.
FOLDABLE MING STYLE ARMCHAIR
Chinese furniture design once reached its peak in Ming dynasty. In the 20th century, the Chinese furniture design language lost it's voice due to the domination of western culture .
Nowadays, more and more new generation of Chinese furniture designer combines the ancient philosophy behind the classic styles and the modern aesthetics of the 21st century. They seek to interpret the new meaning of Chinese furniture today and define a fresh and unique style for modern Chinese living.