Grid Table by Mian Wei

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DESIGN DETAILS
DESIGN NAME:
Grid

PRIMARY FUNCTION:
Table

INSPIRATION:
The inspiration came from traditional Chinese architecture, where a type of wooden structure called Dougong(Dou Gong) is used in various parts of a building. Dougong is essential to the timber frame structure of traditional Chinese building, as it binds the roof, girders and pillars together to distribute weight evenly. The project sets to improve upon the ancient structure by making it simpler and more suitable for modern life.

UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
By the use of traditional interlocking wood structure, assembly of the table is also the process of learning about the structure and experiencing history. The supporting structure(Dou Gong) is made of modular parts that can be easily disassembled and reassembled in need of storage and moving. The bracket connectors (Gong) slide easily into the beams(Dou) to form the weight bearing structure and retain structural integrity when the table is being lifted, therefore no screw needed.

OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The table has a strong presence in the room. The image might look puzzling at first, but as the owner builds the table, the realization comes that the complex aesthetic of the table grows from the simple and understandable interlocking structure without any decoration or ornamental excess. Through building the table, the complexity fades away, and the sensible nature reveals. The structure itself creates the form and the aesthetic. The table is by itself a different piece of furniture for the guest and the owner.

PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The project started in 2015 in China. A prototype was made in 2017 in Rhode Island. It was exhibited in May 2017 in Providence RI. A full scale table was made in 2018 in Massachusetts.

FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design

PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
The table is made of ash, maple, and plywood. The brackets connectors(Gong) were made first into long beams and then cut to pieces. The brackets then slide in and lock the beams(Dou) made of ash wood. Together the two make the entire structure. Eventually, a maple wood panel is put on top as the surface and supported evenly. The table is highly machine manufacturable and can be mass-produced.

SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
1500 mm x 900 mm x 450 mm

TAGS:
Table, China, Furniture, Modular

RESEARCH ABSTRACT:
The project started when I was on an architectural road trip across China. There are a large amount of ancient wooden architectural relics scattered across central-northern China, particularly in Shanxi province where I spent the most time. These buildings withstood the test of time and are still standing today. A few of them became prized tourist attractions but most of them remain quietly in the mountains and villages that are mostly unknown to the fast developing outside world. The wooden structure Dougong(Dou Gong) plays an important role in the historical development of Chinese architecture. Dougong serves primarily as a structural element in architecture in early dynasties, used to distribute weight evenly across large architectural volume. In later dynasties, Dougong gradually turned into a decorative element of architecture and serves mainly aesthetic purposes. This project, on the one hand, tries to go back to the root to reinvestigate the practicality and scalability, and bring new life to the ancient tradition. On the other hand, the project seeks to explore new aesthetic possibilities of the structure with modern forms and production techniques.

CHALLENGE:
The main challenge is to bring a traditional handcrafted structure into the modern age. Simply inheriting an old design is not enough. Many have tried to imitate the ancient aesthetic with wood and rivets or even concrete, but those loose visual interpretations parted its structural nature and simplicity of assembly. The structure and crafting procedure have to be redesigned and reorganized to fit modern life and manufacturing while at the same time retain value, tradition, and physical property. The project seeks to reduce the structure into the simplest modular form while preserving its functional and aesthetic nature.

ADDED DATE:
2019-02-21 01:12:33

TEAM MEMBERS (1) :
Mian Wei

IMAGE CREDITS:
Mian Wei

PATENTS/COPYRIGHTS:
Copyrights belong to Mian Wei, 2019.

Visit the following page to learn more: http://mian-wei.com
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CLIENT/STUDIO/BRAND DETAILS
NAME:
Mian Wei

PROFILE:
Mian Wei is an award wining designer and multimedia artist currently based in Boston United States. His work focuses mainly on industrial design, human interface, and corporate identity. He believes the inside of a product is as important as the outside, that a well designed object should have a balance between structure and form. Originally from China, Mian Wei studied industrial design in Rhode Island School of Design in US. The first commercial product he lead designed won a iF design award in 2019.

NOMINATION DETAILS

Grid Table by Mian Wei is a Nominee in Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design Category.

· This project is currently confidential as results have not been announced yet. Images and further details of the project is not available for public yet, please check back later. If you are the owner of this design, please login to view the images.

· The profile and other works by Mian Wei is also kept secret. This information will also be available later.
AWARD DETAILS

Grid Table by Mian Wei is Winner in Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design Category, 2018 - 2019.



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