Foldable Ming Style Armchair
The simplified lines and structural meanings of traditional Ming-style circle chairs have extraordinary significance in the furniture design history. However, nowadays, they have declined in popularity due to their old-fashioned image or becoming boutique items that the general public cannot afford.
Design hope to break free from the old-fashioned impression of Chinese furniture and adapt the modern design trend of highly flexible and personalized furniture.
The M-ing chair can be folded and stored flat easily. Aiming to embark a conversation about traditional Chinese furniture revives in modern times.
Chinese furniture has evolved through distinct furniture design lineages dating back to 1000 BC, independent of Western furniture systems. The Ming dynasty is considered a pinnacle of furniture production in East Asia, with significant influence on furniture design thereafter.
Ming furniture celebrates simplicity and functionality, with designs seamlessly integrated with their intended use. Each piece was crafted with a specific purpose in mind. Through clean forms and a obsessed focus on simplicity, it celebrates the beauty and elegance of efficient material usage and functionality.
Despite being produced over 400 years ago, Ming furniture continues to influence furniture design today. However, in modern times, many traditional Chinese cultural elements are perceived as tacky, too-old fashion or outdated in the minds of the Asian general public which doesn't keep up with the society. As a result, traditional Pan-chinese furniture element has gradually disappeared from modern homes or become a boutique display item that lives in a museum which no longer approachable to the public.
Design attempt to capture the ancient spirit of Chinese culture and reinterpret it using modern design vocabulary. By doing so, they hope to revitalize traditional Chinese furniture and make it more accessible to contemporary audiences.
MODERN FURNITURE DESIGN TREND
The trend of urbanization has caused a global migration from rural areas to cities, resulting in the need for larger and more essential public spaces. However, personal spaces are becoming increasingly limited, as evidenced by the popularity of co-working spaces.
As a result, modern furniture design is increasingly focusing on flexibility and storage solutions to meet the needs of multi-functional spaces. By providing furniture that can adapt to different uses and offer effective storage, designers are helping people make the most of limited personal spaces.
Preserved Ming-style circle chair's vocabulary, while its line structure is being simplified. The design is based on the "No waist beam chair category" in the Chinese furniture system, which is inspired by ancient Chinese building structures that used wooden bolts and large columns to secure seat surfaces. To represent this spirit in the design, the upper horizontal bar is used as the fixing bar for a folding design, and the legs are cylindrical and connected to the gooseneck, which supports the armrest. By simplifying the chair's structure while preserving its design language, the Ming-style circle chair retains its traditional heritage while remaining functional for modern living spaces.
TRIAL AND ERROR
Designing furniture with a foldable structure while retaining the Chinese design language proved to be more challenging than expected, and failure during the design process was inevitable. It took 13 structural iterations before arriving at the final model. To create the model, plastic water pipes were used as a prototype material, allowing for the direct verification of ideas through the creation of prototype models and the simultaneous revision of 3D CAD. By using this method, the design was able to progress and improve with each iteration until the final version was achieved.
FOLDABLE MING STYLE ARMCHAIR
Chinese furniture design reached its peak during the Ming dynasty, but in the 20th century, it lost its prominence due to the domination of Western culture. However, in recent years, a new generation of Chinese furniture designers has emerged who seek to combine the ancient philosophy behind classic styles with modern 21st-century aesthetics.
These designers aim to interpret the meaning of Chinese furniture in today's world and define a fresh and unique style for modern Chinese living. By merging traditional design language with contemporary techniques and materials, they hope to create furniture that not only reflects the rich cultural heritage of China but also meets the demands and tastes of modern lifestyles.