furniture exchange program in shenzhen lets local residents trade their makeshift seats

at the 2017 bi-city biennale of urbanism architecture, the ‘furniture exchange program’ allowed residents of one of shenzhen’s urban villages to trade their home-made chairs and seats for brand new, fully functioning stools. the 50 chairs, each different to the next, were then displayed at the event by huang heshan and jiang fan — both graduates of beijing’s tsinghua university. although the objects are often poorly constructed from cheap materials, and without any sense of aesthetics, the designs are economically made to serve very practical purposes.

furniture exchange program
the ‘furniture exchange program’ allowed local residents to trade their home-made chairs
image © designboom (also main image)

‘when design deviates from ‘standards, eternity, pureness’ and the utopia temple starts to collapse,our vision will be lured to chaotic things,’ says huang heshan and jiang fan. ’emerging social needs urge us to constantly think of ways to generate energy in a highly intricate social system. against such a complicated backdrop, design is bound to be a great challenge, rather than a mere design challenge itself.’

furniture exchange program
existing seats were exchanged for brand new, fully functioning stools
image © designboom

in addition to serving practical functions, the chairs also demonstrate the wisdom of urban village residents — highlighting their involvement in the process of the region’s rapid urban development. placed in the exhibition for visitors to use, the chairs were presented at the 2017 bi-city biennale of urbanism architecture as a documentation of life in the neighborhood. see designboom’s coverage of the biennale here.

furniture exchange program
50 chairs, each different to the next, were put on display
image © designboom

furniture exchange program
although constructed from cheap materials, the designs were made to serve very practical purposes
image © designboom

furniture exchange program
IKEA tags were affixed to the selected chairs 
image © designboom

furniture exchange program
the chairs demonstrate the wisdom of urban village residents
image © designboom

furniture exchange program
the stools were presented at the 2017 bi-city biennale of urbanism architecture
image © designboom

philip stevens I designboom

apr 03, 2018

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