Design Inspiration - Industrial design / product design blog

Sean Zhang – Painful Chair

A handmade wooden chair not only demonstrates the beauty of the wood, but also reveals the cultural elements behind it. “Painful” doesn’t mean that you feel painful when sitting in this chair. Instead, “Painful” refers to the pain of this traditional “Ming” chair, which feels really painful because of hammered 800 wood nails. So, it’s about “cultural pain”. Through this design, I would like to demonstrate that our traditional designs and manufacturing techniques are gradually lost. These traditional designs and skills are the essence of human civilization. However, we are lost and destroying them. Such lost can be found in China, Italy and the rest of the world. The protrusions on the chair surface were inspired from Chinese acupuncture. I tried my best, in many ways, to find out the characteristics of wood, techniques of making wood chairs and the ways to connect pieces and buildchair shapes. When working on it, I didn’t draw many sketches. Instead, I measured the 3D spatial proportion and structure by my hands before starting to make the chair. Interestingly, I used the modern equipment in the lab to make the wooden chair with Chinese traditional chair-making techniques.

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