Cumulus is an occasional chair that draws on traditional Chinese furniture elements, cultural motifs, and bespoke manufacturing techniques. Beginning as an exploration into traditional Chinese furniture, Cumulus is an attempt at reinterpreting the distinguishable characteristics of traditional Chinese furniture.
Originally responding to cultural practices and lifestyle, traditional Chinese furniture is made from quality hardwoods and is embellished with decorative motifs from ancient Chinese myths and stories such as the dragon, phoenix and cloud. Communicating cultural ideas, customs, values and qualities, traditional Chinese furniture endures as one of the most recognisable furniture styles of the past.
While authentic traditional Chinese furniture is renowned, Western trends, taste, furniture typologies, and mass manufacturing are informing most of the current furniture in Chinese design. This project is both a reflection and conversation on the idea of what contemporary Chinese furniture could be. Employing field research in China, prototyping experiments to explore traditional Chinese construction methods, motifs and craft practices, Cumulus is an original chair design capable of evoking and communicating a contemporary China.