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Inspiration On Display

叶霖耘Lerra Ye 2017-05-24 15:07

Design Shanghai tapped into an undis- covered love that Shanghai's urbanites have for design and continues to enjoy tremendous support. Approximately 350 partic- ipants were invited to participate this year. Five exhibition halls were arranged: Contemporary Design Hall, Classical Design Hall, Design Hall of Limited Edition, Kitchen & Bathroom Design Hall, and Of ce Design Hall. Two of these halls - Kitchen & Bathroom Design Hall and Of ce Design Hall - made their debut this year. The Contemporary Design Hall presented the audience with high-end design products while the audiences were treated to a feast for the eyes with many designs combining Chinese traditional elements and western classicalism in the Classical Design Hall. The Design Hall of Limited Edition, one of the highlights at the ex- hibition, was arranged separately and provided the audience with a group of exquisite limited edition products.At the invitation of the Design committee, a great many renowned designers including DB Kim, Karim Rashid, André Fu, Benjamin Hubert, Luca Nichetto, Bethan Laura Wood, Yang Mingjie, Ole Bouman and Wu Haiyan, attended the forum.


This year, a large number of design products that combined high tastes with a sense of fun went into the public forum. The

designer Marcantonio Raimondi Malerba brought his “Mouse Lamp”. The Danish brand HAY made their debut to introduce new products including the “Can Sofa” to the Chinese audience. The Can Sofa, designed by the Bouroullec Brothers, is a set of collapsible home furniture whose back can be easily reassembled into a surprisingly comfortable bed. Meanwhile, Alessi teamed up with Dutch master Marcel Wanders to create "The Candyman" - a limited edition (999 available worldwide) candy dispenser in the shape of a clown and finished in gleaming stainless steel. WOW, one of the new sofa products designed by Philippe Starck, was presented by the Driade company and was also one of the most stunning designs in the exhibition. The Italian company brought its concept of "DriadeLivingRoom", driven at its core by the two pillars of aesthetics and functionality. Thonet debuted in the event to its classic new-designed chair to express the design sense of simplicity and classicalism. The audiences were also hugely attracted by the fashionable and interesting designs of the Italian brand Magis in the exhibition.


Local Chinese designers also brought their A-game. Designs made by Domus Tiandi have been familiar to the public since 2015. This year Domus Tiandi presented us with its design of kitchen areas named yanyu (mean- ing “meet romance, delicacy and miracle in cooking ”) to highlight the sense of comfort and convenience of cooking in an exquisite kitchen. Yang Jieming, founder of YANG HOUSE, provided us with his paper design products - View of Bench (Chinese traditional wooden artism) and Light of Bamboo (Chinese traditional paper-made umbrella art). These designs are all great of a unique Chinese design sense. X+Q Art created by the well-known sculptor Xiang Jing and Qu Guangci brought the public a feast of delicate gift art. Great happiness was received by the public through the product of Summer Emily, Statue of Liberty God, Litter Superman, Angel of Happiness and more. Wei Mo, designed by Wu Bin, is inspired by the Nordic design of the 1940s and 1950s, which symbolizes natural, simple and elegant ow of design. And other young and vigorous new designers including Beyond Object, Frank Chou Design Studio, ziinlife, WUU, ROOY, Benwu Edition, ALiTLE, Haostyle, FNJI and NANCHOW all attended the exhibition with their selected designs.

The Domus aurea collection showcased leading European brands, including Austria's famous crystal lighting brand Swarovski, the new Italian classical furniture brand zanabon, Italy's potocco fashion brand and more.


In addition, Louis Vuitton debuted their travel themed Objets Nomades furniture series. The 10 items-from a hammock to a foldable stool – are all in noble materials and sold in limited editions or experimental prototypes; from Marcel Wanders' "Portable Oasis", the Campana brothers’ "Air Paradise", to Atelier Oï’s "Folding Art"... everything is connected, giving "the art of travel" new de nition. France's top ceramic brand Bernardaud joined the exhibition for the rst time, limited work with distinguished artists Jeff Koons and Marina Abramovic were also on show. The famous gallery Galerie Dumonteil once again brought to the exhibition France artist Jean Michel Fiori’s extremely rare design works. London's venerable antique dealers Frank Partridge brought the nest clocks made in the 18thand 19th centuries in France and England, some of which were created in tribute to the Qing Dynasty emperors.


This year the inaugural Kitchen and Bathroom Design Museum and office design museum showed off the top kitchen and office space creative design solutions. Kitchen Design Hall by the British brand Dyson put the range of Dyson products on display, including their new Cu Beam Duo lights, designed for precise and powerful lighting with Heat pipe technology to cool LEDs. At the same time, the Kitchen Design hall also brings together Antonio Lupi, Rational, Rossana, LEICHT, Fisher&Paykel, Dupont Corian, including the world's top kitchen design and material brands. Office Design Hall closely followed the trend of design, to bring the best inspiration for the office area, to present a leading office lifestyle.

Classical Design Hall centered on a selected group of design brands ranking at the top of the design history, presenting all visitors with a visual feast of traditional design and art.



Light and shadow are very emotional elements in design. Even in a broad space, light and shadow can instantly set the tone across the board.

In Genesis, ‘Light’ is the rst order given by God. Shadow is always behind the light. This kind of art that is about light and shadow occupies a big proportion in design. Moreover, this effectiveness of light and shadow can only show up when the light is turned on, giving people an extra surprise.

This time, the designers of Van Egmond exhibited a series of works, Floating Candles, that are related to roses in the exhibition. This exhibit is very idyllic. “A bunch of owers can be a gift as a return to a smile in every corner of the world.” There are no decorations or any grandiose elements in this. Floating Candles is a quintessential expression of light.


Through this work, the designers have examined the original expression of light. They found out that the original expression of light is the simplest but the most iconic object. During the design process, designer William Brand went to a blacksmith to experience the way iron was treated in ancient times. He worked for many hours and fought with the iron for the main purpose of to feeling the touch of bendingthe iron.

Brand Van Egmond's "Hollywood Icicles" is made of crystal-clear glass. Touched by the slenderness and pureness of the trees they encountered travelling the world, Annet and William were inspired to design the Hollywood collection. Just as nature comes in all possible forms and shapes the Hollywood line is equally diverse, including the possibility to customize with hand blown icicles.

On the other end of the natural spectrum, the designers of NatureBamboo uses bamboo laments and ancient artisan knowledge to create intricate lamps in unique shapes. They use the soft re ected light on the bamboo cup to create the feelings that the designer wants to express. The 'Round-moon Cup' expresses the feeling of yearning. As the moon may wax or wane, men has sorrow and joy; as the moon is bright or dim, we part or meet again. Perfection is the pursuit of each person and the lighthouse in everyone's heart.


Artifacts can show us the re ection of what is in our hearts. It is the combination of the creation and the feeling. The ‘UFO Pendant Lamp’ is the expression of this design concept. “I believe that the external force is existent, and maybe you

believe the same thing," says the designer, "when we turn on the UFO lamp, we all curious that whether the external force is similar to the light and the temperature of the lamp.” The design of this work has the feeling of modern architecture. It lets the bamboo lament craft build the new construction in cubical space.

In addition to the design works in this article, there are a lot of other works everywhere. Those works express the different understandings of light and shadow, a fascinating topic that immerses you in the bright ideas of the designers.



Drawing inspiration from traditional culture in design is easy, what really matters is innovation. Design Shanghai has witnessed different ways of applying traditional elements.

The brand No Other by designer Ma Kai is indeed one of a kind. The exquisite jade tableware set inserts an element of Taihu stone into porcelain, rendering a sense of layers and design with exible transparent expression. The modeling elements of six-coloured ripple tableware originated from water ripples in an order; and meanwhile, the colour gradually fades to white during the production while its meaning accordingly puri es to the very beginning; "Toad with Luck" rede nes the function of “incense”. Some usage scenarios take place as follows: light a stick of incense when on a business trip, then you will restore a most familiar scent of home; light a stick of incense when enjoying a leisurely tea and you will enter an elegant state; light a stick of license when preparing to go to bed... the healing fragrant helps you fall asleep. The holder is made of pure wood while the appearance is in a minimalist geometric shape, and a magnet attracts the incense storage box to prevent it slipping away, a practical and convenient feature.


The Chinese embroidery clock screen is a fusion of embroidery; overhang eaves, ink, shadow puppetry and other traditional cultural elements, in tting with ancient Chinese taste. When lit, the light will go through the embroidery screen and cast the shadow of ink carp on the embroidery where the two carps chase after each other and we can read the time via the angle just like the hands of a clock. With an embroidery background pattern, the two carps are both virtual and real, rendering elegant scenery at a lotus pond in moonlight. The landscape fragrant vessel, “In a glamorous view of mountains with tranquil in fall, the fragment of trees comes with window open” produces a graceful painting with pane elements of Chinese architecture, giving forth ethereal lightness and natural elegance, as a furnishing of natural landscape with vegetation.


The works by designer Zhao Lei, the founder of MZGF furniture show- case another approach of combination. The Cabinet tributes to the artisan spirit, of which the materials like metal, stone, and wood can withstand the test of time. Through rational design and smart collocation, these materials bring out the best in one another. The furniture series produce the feeling of tranquility, calmness and perseverance, the stand is a representative of minimalism, of which the beauty comes from meticulously designed rotation of its structure. To present an elegant “slim waisted” proportion, the designer simulates effects of different rotation angles with parametric software and nally works it out through careful comparisons. The form is artistic but re ned as well, far beyond the con nes of current trends.The desk extends the idea, a breakthrough in terms of function and aesthetics. Enclosed on three sides, the desktop delivers an exclusive sense of space. The box storing power sockets are arranged at the back of the desktop – an elegant and convenient solution. In brief, the overall design feels like a modern take on Ming Dynasty furniture, putting strong emphasis on the performance of lines, where curves lie in straight lines and exibility meets hardness.


In addition, there are works of Western designers instilled with the same philosophy and all the designs nally render extremely diverse works, which is indeed a highlight of the exhibition.


Gold-jade decoration used to be the most expensive design element in ancient times. Through ingenious ideas, these elements return to the stage and bring along a unique feeling.

The beauty carried by gold-jade has long been a highlight for design enthusiasts, but such costly material is always in danger of seeming excessive, even gaudy in many circumstances, so how designers evade this problem spurs curiosity.


Wood inlay art by Intrarsia India applies the technique of gold line painting, rendering a unique charm. The extravagant and extremely exquisite ancient handicraft has gradually faded away across the globe but remains well preserved in India, which has been a veritable mecca for art lovers. It has been injected with new vitality in a simple and glamorous modern appearance. A talented western artist, Eric C. Sakellaropoulosis, founded Intarsia India in South Mysore in the late 1990s. It was a cross-century cultural collision of time and space, destined to be a new chapter in the history of wood inlay art and handicraft. The designer has spent twenty years in representing the almost lost handicraft, carrying out his work with more than 40 kinds of local rare natural coloured woods and the only remaining large-scale artisan groups of wood mosaic paintings. With the support of modern high-tech tools, the designer made it across cultural and artistic context from
a unique contemporary perspective. As its name suggests, each piece and each part of wood inlay still applies hand cutting, polishing, selection and collage, whether it is wood, metal, or Fritillaria - which used to be the privilege of the aristocracy - and restores to its glamour today.



Of course, in addition to real gold lines, some designers also apply colours close to gold and jade to deliver Chinese literary concepts in their designs. Dongli and Ziyuan are the two pieces which reinterpret the gentlemen's spirit, of which the double layer is hollow while the external layer moves with the breeze against a straight inner layer, symbolizing that gentlemen often live in harmony with others but never drift with the current. That is exactly where freedom and transparency lies in our spiritual world. In the design of works Baopu, the designer takes pebbles as a prototype, which is plain and pure without any embellishment, to forge a painting of “The Journey to A Stone Pond” with walking people in space and passing time, lit up slowly with vitality hidden in tranquility. Another work, Waken Stone, is based on stones in Taihu Lake. Drawing upon its “penetration and leakage”, the designer changes the common slender stones into round stone caves, where breeze and moonlight could go through it to display another fun.

We can safely conclude that drawing on ideas from literature as inspirations, the design element of gold-jade will be indulged with elegance, so as to bring along a different taste to the whole design.


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