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      WHU Design Festival showcases its first furniture design competition
      Author:Zhou Siyan  Date:2019-06-19  Clicks:

      The WHU Furniture Design Competition, which made its debut during this year’s Design Festival, put the spotlight on inspiration and innovation, balance and beauty. flowing curves design and three-dimensional (3D) technology were particularly welcomed by the brand-new event, as they showcase unconventional styles and students’ rich imagination.

      Of the more than 30 entries received, the organizing committee selected half as finalists. On April 24, the final was successfully held in the office building of the School of Urban Design, with 11 pieces standing out as prize winners. During the final, participants presented their works and ideas with great passion. Deng Jun, Mao Jia and Mu Qinyuan, teachers from the School of Urban Design, acted as jurors who evaluated the works.

      Place of Lotus

      The first prize went to Place of Lotus. It was designed by Pan Deng and Wu Jiawei from the School of Urban Design, who are both seniors majoring in architecture. Their intention was to create a place on campus where faculty and students can rest, enjoy themselves and be closer to nature. The user-friendly and relaxing atmosphere offered by the design is the most fascinating point. Although they adopted computer technologies to present their design, Pan thinks highly of its inspiration and enthusiasm too. “There is no difficulty that cannot be transcended when there is a wonderful idea that you want to turn into reality,” said Pan.

      Modular Desk

      Huo Tingjun and Zhang Zhuo, sophomores majoring in architecture, won the second prize with tree-like Modular Desk. The work features 3D printing technology and agile module combination. Four basic desk forms were meticulously developed as modules, which can then be assembled in various ways to form bigger desks. It is thus especially suitable for public places, where people prefer to sit with their families and friends rather than strangers. In cases like that, users can move modules in the desired way to form a suitable desk. Computer science contributed greatly to the process. “It better aligns the design with object requirements,” said Huo.

      Binding & Hanging

      Binding & Hanging, designed by Yang Chen, a product design major, also received an award for excellence. The creation adopts a distinctly traditional Chinese style by utilizing crafts like binding and hanging pieces of bamboo, wood as well as cane. The structural materials are mainly bamboo and wood, which combine sturdiness with beauty. By also considering the comfort aspect, Yang added a soft seat cushion to this chair. Yang said, “It is amazing to combine traditional culture with modern theories. Furniture can be beautifully shaped this way.”

      Originality and feasibility are emphasized during the whole evaluation process. As Prof. Deng said, “Furniture design is the simplest one, for it has existed for thousands of years and humans have already created many masterpieces. On the other hand, that is exactly the reason why it is the hardest, as there is limited room for innovation.” Mr. Mu and Mrs. Mao also pinpointed that students should think more about where and how the designed furniture is to be used. Following the competition, some prize-winners will apply for patents, assisted by university instructors, with some hopefully going into production someday.

      Of course, the competition can hardly be done without students who volunteer to be the staff. Zeng Maosen, one of the volunteers, regards it as a rewarding experience. “The participants’ dedication to their work amazed me,” Zeng said, “Many great designs emerged, many students showed their potential, and I am so happy to be a witness.”

      A glimpse of the final

      Nowadays, most furniture is flat and hard, thus to some extent, dull and uncomfortable. In this context, the first Furniture Design Competition, in featuring beautiful curves, is highly meaningful. It encourages students to design furniture that conforms to human body structure while ensuring  beautiful appearance. As Prof. Deng commented, “Things that look graceful are generally comfortable to use, for they give the impression that they follow human body curves. And for designers, considerations of ergonomics really matter.” In this competition, students presented their works in many forms including cherry blossom, cat, dolphin and snail. They all showed their marvelous understanding of the combination of aesthetics and ergonomics.

      Photo by Pan Deng, Wu Jiawei, Huo Tingjun, Zhang Zhuo, Yang Chen & Zhang Zhihan

      Edited by Geng Jinwei, Zheng Yayun, Shi Weiya & Hu Sijia


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