Turning to age-old traditional crafts, materials and processes, and adapting to today’s requirements, where change is constant and living space is limited.
The SHANG System allows for quick adaptation to functional needs, for example changing from a bedside table to a stool in a matter of seconds. The ease of stacking components allows one to apply multiple uses to a furniture system. Adding components is also simple and straightforward, allowing the furniture system to grow with the user.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The SHANG System is a contemporary furniture system that is rooted in history and culture. The System pairs key visual elements of traditional Chinese furniture with a modular concept, which allows flexibility in combining each component. This flexibility lets one change the function and appearance according to one’s preferred degree of Chinese cultural identity. The flexibility, rootedness in heritage and crafted quality is a furniture system that can be handed down as a heirloom.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The System comprises of 3 components - 1) a tray, 2) a box drawer and 3) a stool. They are put together with grooves and extrusions in the corners, and held together by the sturdy weight of solid wood. This easy stacking operation does not require tools to change the look or function of the System. One can also add one more box drawers as one wishes at any point of time so the System can grow together with the user. Moving the furniture is also easy as it is easy to take apart into the individual components.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
Market Launch Date
3 May 2014, Singapore
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
We went to China to find traditional wood workers with a history and background in traditional solid wood working. Working with a workshop that has skills in crafting complex traditional shapes and motifs, we studied archetypes in traditional Chinese furniture and essentialised the key visual elements in Chinese furniture to create the SHANG System.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
PAN - Table Top / Tray - 590mm x 300mm x 95mm
HE Box Drawer - 480mm x 300mm x 170mm
DENG Stool / Low Table - 560mm x 340mm x 410mm
Asian contemporary, new traditions, chinese culture, asian culture, multi functional furniture
Context of Design - The SHANG System is set in a milieu where globalisation rapidly homogenises design ideals, of what is desired. Not satisfied with purely accepting a certain ideal from a certain culture, the SHANG System puts together ideals from different cultures and technologies to create a furniture system that is Singaporean, acknowledging our Asian roots, and is contemporary in the execution of its modular functionality.
The SHANG System brings into dialogue the role of history and culture into today’s furniture, and also an appreciation of this rich history and culture that Singaporeans share, through a new and inspiring perspective.
A simple solution that pairs tradition with modernity, the system fits today’s living. Relating to how our elders have proudly treasured their own solid wood traditional Chinese furniture, the SHANG System gives us today a furniture of our time that is rooted in heritage and contemporary at the same time, that we can treasure.
Finding the right traditional craftsperson who was willing to work with new ideas and had a pride in the finished work. Designing the expression of visual appearance took some iterations.
TEAM MEMBERS (2) :
Jessica Wong and Pamela Ting