Tableless Ware Experimental Project

NexLab @ Milano Design Week 2022


Design led by:
Han Han 韩晗博士 & Lisa Linnow

Co-designed by:
Sinethemba Xola, Brandon Amronski, Baofeng Chen 陈保枫, Chenxiao Gao 高晨霄, Kai Zeng 曾恺, Linlin Feng 冯林林, Jingbin Xi 席景彬

Engaged Anthropologists:
Chen Tian 田辰博士, Pengfei Zhu 朱鹏飞博士

When & Where to find us:
06.June to 12.June
1001 Nights Table, Co-Creando, Milano
5Vie Design Week, 2022
Fuorisalone, Milano Design Week 2022

The Concept

The design work OPEN, is a part of NexLab’s Tableless Ware Experimental Project in innovating the concept of ‘table’, and is exhibited in of Milan Design Week, joining the 1001-Nights Collection of Co-Creando Milano (Dr. Fatina Saikaly). By making this OPEN tea-set, an intercultural team is trying to explore the dynamics of culture (especially between China and South Africa) in a fixed setting (tea time), which promotes an OPEN gesture—it is a embracement about the diversity of how we do the same craft in different ways, how we enjoy tea-time with different approaches, how we balance the private and social, and how we communicate our stories with others, in all, it’s about lifestyles. So, the tea-set consists of six sets of cups, each set is a combination of: an African calabash (carrying the gesture for sharing) and Chinese cup (carrying the gesture for personal use); the low-temperature ceramic craft from South African and the high-temperature ceramic craft from China; the white and blue color characterizing both the starlight of The Southern Cross and the classical Chinese porcelain pattern; and 3 pairs of AR smart installations representing cultural icons from both countries are attached in creating a cultural exchange conversation and entertainment among users when enjoying the tea-time together. What is more fascinating is that the design in whole is a story of 1001-Nights, as it is co-designed by a team led by Lisa (Sinethemba and Brandon) from South Africa focusing on the craft part, a team led by Han (Baofeng, Chenxiao, Kai, Linlin, Jingbin) from China focusing on the interaction part, and a team of Chinese anthropologists in South Africa (Tian & Pengfei) focusing on the intercultural facilitation, which makes the whole work as an open dialogue from the journey of creating to the final design output. 

Ceramic experiment for the craft-gesture meaning exploration:
South African Calabash & Chinese Tea Cup Integration

Interactive experiment to open the tea-time cultural joy

3 pairs of cultural icons
Lotus v.s. Protea Flowers
The Big Dipper v.s. The South Cross
Panda v.s. Springbok

represent both culture from China and South Africa

AR stickers to distinguish users functionally,
and to open dialogues culturally, with more flexibility

The whole tea-set design initiates an OPEN pose,
as what we tend to act for the dynamics of future lifestyle

Produced by:

Supported by:
Shenzhen University 深圳大学
Farnova Group 法诺集团

Coordinated by:
Wubuntu 吾步徒
Lisa Linnow Gallery

Time & Location:
06.June to 12.June
1001 Nights Table, Co-Creando, Milano
5, 5Vie Design Week, 2022
Fuorisalone, Milano Design Week 2022

中文页面 Chinese Version

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