The intent of the design of this bench originated from traditional Chinese interior layouts. When you enter a traditional Chinese home, you are usually greeted by a wall or a partition of some sort that separates the living space from the entrance. By doing so, visitors could not see the interior of the home without walking through the entrance and around the wall/partition. This creates a protective barrier or sense of isolation between the people living inside and the outside, a basic principle of Fengshui in relation with interior design.
When observing modern interiors, especially studio spaces, Fengshui is usually non-existent, especially in American homes. With a growing Chinese millennials population, I wanted to introduce this by incorporating some of its characteristics into furniture, so that Fengshui can be brought into the home in a modern and stylish way.
I chose to design a bench because it is usually the first piece of furniture you interact with when entering a house. by sitting down and taking off your shoes, you are performing a ‘ritual’, much like the walking around the wall in Fengshui concept. I did not want to block off the entire the view like how it is done traditionally, so I looked for ways to represent dimension using minimal material. After mocking up different form languages, the circle or ring shape was most successful in that it introduces a nice alternative to most home furniture forms, and most importantly it is used commonly in traditional Chinese furniture and architecture. The ring is ‘pierced’ by the long, slender bench to create a nice juxtaposition between the two elements, while maintaining the overall form language minimal.