Out of the woods come elegant and innovative designs
An exhibition was launched on the Bund over the weekend to highlight the softness and flexibility of wood through the designs of local college students and professors.
The exhibition titled “MAD Wood” is open to the public free at the Yifeng Galleria on Beijing Road E. through October 12.
The small-scale exhibition features dozens of wooden art installations, furniture and stools designed by students and faculties of Tongji University’s College of Design and Innovation.
The exhibition is a platform for the students to showcase their talent to consumers directly. Some popular exhibits will be developed into merchandise for the market, said Mo Jiao, a professor with the college and the curator of the exhibition.
The key section ST.WOOD exhibits a dozen wooden stools designed by senior students of the college. The designers were asked to use their imagination and make the wooden stools manually.
It is the first time that the class work of the students of the college have been exhibited to the public.
Among the exhibits is the Suite Stool from student Zhang Yulong. The practical design includes three stools which can be used separately or as a whole. Any two of the stools can be combined together. The work has just won the 2020 Italy A’ Design Awards.
Another exhibit named Bouncing Stool from Zhang’s schoolmate Liang Ce is made of multi-layer thin wood supported by a rubber ball. The project won the 2016 Red Dot Concept Award.
“Such an exhibition allows us to keep abreast of market trends and the demands of consumers,” said Zhu Ziyi, a sophomore with the college. “We can also learn the whole process of a product from design, production to sales."
Tongji Tiandi Innovation & Design Co., a state-own enterprise under the university, transforms the innovative designs from the students into furniture and other products.
“It is a pity that so many excellent class works from the students failed to enter the market,” said an official with the company.
Some designs from the college’s teachers, which have been popular products, are also displayed.
The Louis XV Wine rack designed by Mo, for instance, features Rococo style galbee commode and modern digital aesthetic language.
The serial exhibits Energy Wood from Professor Zhou Hongtao was inspired by the ash forest devastated by invasive insects in the United States. The straight fiber of the ash lumbers are cut into stripes to create gestures and shadows.
The artworks aim to show the background story of the eco system crisis, according to Zhou.
Most of the exhibits are made with the UPM plywood from Finland, an eco-friendly material. Visitors can enter a workshop to design their own artworks with the thermoplastic plywood.