After an extended break, Design China is back! We are starting 2014 off with a lovely curatorial initiative by PINWU called Handmade in Hangzhou. Its core philosophy is rong, or “melting and fusion”, which is used by thirteen designers to deconstruct the traditional bamboo crafts of Hangzhou and apply them to contemporary design. Over the next five years, the group also plan to explore silk, porcelain, copper, and paper.
Ejing (Yijing) Zhang is an emerging Chinese designer currently based in London. Educated at London College of Fashion, Chelsea College of Art and Design, and Royal College of Art, the young talent also boasts experience with Ralph Lauren, Alexander McQueen and Liberty, London. We spoke with Ejing to discuss her journey to date.
Founded in 2011 by Hongchao Wang and Peng You, and based in New York City and London, Benwu Studio specialises in furniture, product and spatial design. The practice’s distinct work has left traces in homes, galleries and museums; the designers believe that “good conceptual thinking can be applied to anything, and new experiences can stimulate creativity. We immerse ourselves in all kinds of subjects…Inspired and refreshed, our dreams are made into reality through beautiful craftsmanship”. Design China caught up with the duo to uncover more.
“Shang Xia, a sister brand of France’s illustrious Hermès, prides itself on promoting traditional Chinese craftsmanship and making such techniques relevant to contemporary design. There is no better evidence of this than in Shang Xia’s exhibition of bamboo weaving in the atrium of the shopping mall at Beijing’s World Trade Centre…until 9 June 2013”. Continue reading.
Finding a good quality bespoke laptop or iPad case can, sometimes, be a difficult task. Thankfully, China-based enterprise, Suoran, come to the rescue with their unique range of understated, eco-friendly products that are, apparently, made of 100% natural wool felt. Visit their Taobao store for more.
If you do not reside in China, a selection of Suoran products can be found on Amazon too.
JIA Inc. is a Hong Kong-based product design brand and collective. Established in 2007, the company offers designs from both established creatives, including Yung Ho Chang, as well as emerging talents. This Purple Clay Coffee Set by Gearlab is one of our faves.
Ubi Gallery is a contemporary jewellery design and ceramics store situated in Dashilar, Beijing. Initiated by Machtelt Schelling who, for the past 5 years, has acted as a crucial link in the art and design exchange between China and the Netherlands, the new space aims to promote Chinese and Asian jewellery design that exemplifies “careful consideration of materials” and works that “keep us curious”. We speak to Machtelt to find out more.