gallery ALL debuts ma yansong's 'MAD martian' furniture at design miami/ basel

gallery ALL debuts ma yansong's 'MAD martian' furniture at design miami/ basel

for the 2017 editions of design miami/, gallery ALL asked chinese architect ma yansong — founder of MAD architects — to create a new collection of furniture influenced by the red planet. titled ‘MAD martian’, the series is the result of a two year research and design development process, which began with the question: what would the chinese colonization of a martian planet look like?

ma yansong photographed among the collection
all images courtesy of gallery ALL



presented at design miami/ basel 2017, the ‘MAD martian’ series expands on ma yansong’s ‘shanshui city’ design philosophy, which integrates elements of traditional chinese landscape design and painting into large-scale urban architecture. the furniture collection continues this same methodology, but conveys it through a sci-fi narrative. evidence of the 1960s space race aesthetic is visible in the suspension lights, while the candelabras are partly informed by films such as alien and blade runner.

the contoured forms of the furniture pieces recall elements of natural, albeit foreign, extra-terrestrial environments



the project started with a conversation between yu wang, co-founder and director of gallery ALL, and ma yansong about the theme of ‘MAD martian’, and what a furniture collection of chinese interplanetary pioneers would look like. joined by consulting creative director lou weis, the team’s focus quickly turned to researching the history and current material language of science fiction movies, with specific reference to colonization of other planets.

mad martian design miami
the MAD martian candelabra is inspired by the root systems of plants

the pieces are designed to stand-alone or as part of a cluster



‘sometimes I think ma yansong can talk to aliens,’ says wang yu, co-founder of gallery ALL. ‘his architectural works are breathtakingly avant-garde in some way that makes the audience feel they stepped into another world. I challenged him to design a living space for martians; he wants to make martians feel on earth.’

mad martian design miami
the candelabra comes in either bronze or stainless steel



the collection considers the idea of intergalactic explorers coming to terms with their new environment — the changes in the seasons, the different rise and fall of the sun, and the emergence of distinct flora and fauna. consequently, ma yansong designed the decorative language of their interior spaces as a hybrid condition, balancing a sense of nostalgia for earth alongside a reflection of the martian environment.

mad martian design miami
the MAD martian dining table appears as an inverted mountain range



in developing the series, ma yansong posited that, in the future, highly advanced materials will ‘catapult those lucky chosen ones into safe extra-terrestrial environments, beyond the apocalypse’. to convey this, the first seven pieces in the collection have been made using both old and new techniques — combining CNC, 3D printing, and advanced mold-making with artisanal skills, such as hand polishing across incredibly complex surfaces.

mad martian design miami
the large piece is made from CNC’d aluminum



the ‘MAD martian’ collection debuted at design miami/basel in june 17-22, 2017, offering another preview during design miami/ 2017 in december. the series constitutes an ongoing series of in-house commissions by LA and beijing-based gallery ALL, whose focus is increasingly turning towards emerging and established chinese designers.

mad martian design miami
the MAD martian console table is manufactured using CNC’d aluminum

mad martian design miami
the dining table measures 435W x 127D x 80H cm

mad martian design miami
the MAD martian chaise lounge combines aluminum with a leather upholstery

mad martian design miami
the chair uses two mountain peaks as its footing

mad martian design miami
the MAD martian suspension lights are made from polyurethane and bronze

mad martian design miami
more pieces will be added to the ‘MAD martian’ collection later in the year
image by james harris

mad martian design miami
the project started with a conversation between yu wang, co-founder of gallery ALL, and ma yansong
image by james harris

mad martian design miami
the collection is presented at the 2017 edition of design miami/ basel
image by james harris




design miami/ basel is a global forum for design, where the world’s leading galleries gather to present museum-quality exhibitions and installations of furniture, lighting and art objects. held annually every june in basel, switzerland, the show balances commercial opportunities with cultural programming — from a platform of panels and lectures ranging from design, architecture, art and fashion; to special commissions from both emerging and established creatives.

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