By January 2019, Maison & Objet establishes China as the new homeland of design, with the Rising Talents, for the occasion six of the best emerging Chinese designers. Contemporary design from China embodies the country’s ambition to become a leading player in the world design scene, overcoming the cliché of the “copy factory” and focusing on innovation and research. The new chinese design features high quality standards, and a new interest in craftsmanship and quality production.
Six emerging designers for six jurors, selected among the most representative of the current Chinese scene. The six jurors who selected the six designers invited by Maison & Objet and Designchain were Liu Xu, president of the China National Interior Decoration Association, Xing Tong-He, former chief architect of Shanghai Xian Dai Architectural Design (Group) Co. Luca Nichetto, Italian designer with experience in China, Tom Dixon, designer and entrepreneur, Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu, a couple of architects with a global influence.
The six designers selected, which we’ ll look at in detail, share a desire for a new design identity, combining Chinese tradition with international design culture. Their talent helps to set new standards, matching creative and commercial needs.
Frank Chou, who already received a special mention at Salone Satellite in Milan in 2016, expresses perfectly the contemporary Chinese design. Born and raised in Beijing, he founded Frank Chou Design Studio in 2012, becoming a benchmark for new Chinese design.
He already has a number of successful products to his credit, with a fusion soul, very much up to date. Minimalist products, but with attention to detail and comfort, with essential lines inspired by Art Deco, with colours and materials which set a contemporary Chinese standard.
Chen Furong – WUU
Chen Furong completed his studies in Shanghai, and then founded in Xiamen the WUU brand of lighting, furniture and accessories. WUU produces simple and essential products, combining traditional craftsmanship from the Fuzhou area with advanced technology.
Among the most representative products by WUU, we can mention the Axis table, made from aluminium, the Touchable Light lamps, with customised control, and the Morandi vases, inspired by Italian artist Giorgio Morandi‘s still lifes.
Mario Tsai Studio
The motto by industrial and product designer Mario Tsai is “use less, design better“. Designing better while using less material, and reducing manufacturing processes, allows us to save resources and protect the environment, and also to have cheaper products.
Mario Tsai, who is based in Hangzhou, loves to travel and maybe for this reason he is a big fan of trade fairs. “Trade shows are major platforms for designers, he explains; at trade shows you have the opportunity to show your products worldwide.
Hongjie Yang was born and grew up in China, and completed his design studies in the United States and at the Design Academy in Eindhoven, Holland, where he still lives today. His works, which explore the gap between nature and culture, have been exhibited in the United States, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and China.
Hongjie Yang‘s most famous pieces are created with nature and technology in mind, combining sharp lines with material textures that recall material samples from other planets, exploring the relationship between nature and built material.
Ximi Li – Urbancraft
Ximi Li, who currently lives in Shanghai, is a real “citizen of the world”. He studied in Shanghai and Milan, where he also worked in Andrea Branzi‘s studio. His experiences contributed to create his unique personality, which now allows him to work as a designer for European brands, and to launch the Urbancraft brand.
Urbancraft‘s mission is to be an international design brand that combines Chinese tradition with elements from other cultures. Urbancraft products are essential but made from precious materials such as glass, marble and high quality wood.
Designer Chen Xingyu founded the design brand Bentu together with Xu Gang, Peng Zeng and Chen Xingguang, in 2011. Xingyu looks at design as a tool to handle the problems created by a rapidly developing country like China.
Bentu works with waste materials, such as coal ash, construction material waste and organic ash. With these materials he creates eco-friendly furniture, lighting complements and accessories, for which he also won the Red Dot Design Award.
Maison & Objet.com, Paris Nord Villepinte, January 2019, 18-22