‘From Language to Design’ is the graduation project of the Dutch designers and Eindhoven graduates Michael Leung and Rony Chan, it was showcased during the opening of the Inside Design Amsterdam, the Lloyd Hotel. The project describes a methodology the designers developed – a systematic way to explore design with cultural characteristics. In this case the designers used the languages Chinese and English as a starting point. The result is a range of narrative and beautifully processed furniture.
But let’s see what the designers say:
“We think with the language we use, the way a language constructs affect the way we think and possibly the way we design.
Under globalization, our way of thinking is becoming similar. This is also reflected in today’s designs.
By regarding language philosophy and language as a system, the research will take Chinese and English as example and compare the differences to see if we could find new ways of designing.
The project aims to find a new design process to create with more localities and diversity.
‘Stools in Tones’
“Chinese words are used as reference for objects and tones as the context. “ji” is used as an example. If we pronounce “ji” in high rising tone means 椅 (chair), in high falling tone means 衣 (clothing). New objects are created based on difference in tones.”
“When you compare word formation in semantics of Chinese and English, you will see how words are formed differently. If we use a word as the starting point of designing an object, in Chinese, we could see some information given which might be the essence of the object. Take 桌 (table) as an example. The word could define the function of the object.
In English, the word “table” only refers to the sound which reminds you of an image of a table. The object shows only the image of a table which is represented by the outline.”
‘A Hidden Place’
“We were more sensitive to everything around us when we were small. We see things according to its nature but not what we were told. The very first space we found might have been under the bed, under the table or in the closet. Those were the places we connected our imaginations to, where we were also more sensitive to ourselves, More connected to our mind, because the surroundings were filtered by the “walls” and also our mind.
We could re-create this little private space for us to sit and think, or even meditate. Using clothes as the divider where we could be with less interference, yet, still connected to the bigger space. The perspective of the living space is also changed, because we are now looking at it as if we were in an isolated space.”
“Everything we see is just a combination of phenomenon, based of the concept of void. If we look at the room we are in, a lot of objects are to divide the space into different levels, performing different functions. The function of the surfaces changes in relationship to the other surfaces provided. One could be the “stairs” to the next surface, or it could be a chair of a child. Another one that is the seating of one could be a table for the other or vice versa.”