Expressing the order and rhythm of space in ceramics
Who are they?
As a product design studio located in Hangzhou, suomu was established by product designer Zou Mengmeng in 2017. Now, the studio is managed by Zou and architect Wang Liyan. The studio independently builds and sells its own ceramic design brand – suomu – focusing on ceramic drinkware and decorative objects.
Tell us about some of your works, and name the one you are most proud of.
The studio has drawn inspirations from space and architectural design in making its own products, to express the order and rhythm of space. The Tofu tea set, one of our early products, conveys the order of geometry by striking a balance between squares and circles. Our latest products, including the Roma and Rolling Series, emphasize the relationship between objects and space.
We are most proud of our latest Rolling Series, which reconstructs the boundary of vessels and makes the connection between the handle and cup body more integral and organic, presenting an elegant curved sense. The production of this series requires a certain technological level. So we have to continually adjust its mould and slip-casting process, and have finally solved the problem of volume production.
Are you currently involved with any project?
Currently, as our brand suomu is experiencing rapid development, we are entering a lot of great boutique stores, household supply collection stores and stores in art galleries, hoping that people will see suomu products in many different places.
We are also designing our new products. The modeling of the latest work – Baguette Pot – is inspired by a classic baguette. The tall handle design makes it not merely a vessel to retain water, but also an interesting interaction between it and those who hold it in different ways, giving it topicality.
Describe your design style?
We hope that our design language is classical and will not be out of date, so we deliver products in different shapes by seeking people's common understanding of beauty.
Where are you most creative?
When we are in a wonderful building space, the curves, change of shadows and texture of materials in buildings' interior spaces provide lots of creative inspirations. If we regard an object as a small space, just like a miniature building, we think deeply about what it should look like and then some unique ideas might be born.
The ceramic laboratory in our studio is also a place full of inspiration. Ceramic materials often bring us many surprises, and charming textures might materialize during casual experiments.
What does your home mean to you?
Home is a relaxing place where people can be inspired. Most of our design concepts, ideas and models come from our homes.
What do you collect?
We like collecting various kinds of books and classical vessels. Many mediaeval objects have exquisite modeling and do not go out of style even today. They are placed in our studio and homes.
What will be the next big design trend?
Nowadays, people's pursuit of inner feelings is not limited to how they dress, but has extended to furniture and objects.
We hold the point that the future of design will be more diversified and filled with emotions, and people will see more cross-border designs.