paper chair and future traditions by lei + christoph + jovana of innovo design
paper chair and future traditions by lei + christoph + jovana of innovo design paper chair and future traditions by lei + christoph + jovana of innovo design
apr 15, 2011

paper chair and future traditions by lei + christoph + jovana of innovo design

‘future traditions’ by lei + christoph + jovana




recent design school graduates zhang lei, christoph john and jovana bogdanovic have collaborated to create ‘future traditions’, a series of organic and minimalistic objects that are modeled after techniques associated with traditional yuhang paper umbrellas. on show at salone satelitte at salone del mobile, the collection comes after an extensive investigation into the techniques and processes of the art form, which disappeared from society over fifty years ago. for two months, the trio lived and worked with four craftsmen who specialize in the production of the umbrella’s, using their techniques and learning from their experiences. resulting are, ‘piao’, ‘xuan’ and ‘wu’ three new designs that transfer the details, materials and function embedded in the traditional roots of the craft.

‘piao’ paper chairs image © designboom




mimicking the way the paper umbrella’s are made, ‘piao’,  features a body made entirely from layers of glued paper. at once organic and textural, the chair combines square sheets of natural paper until it is strong enough to sit on. frayed edges created from the loose ends of paper contrast the otherwise smooth and contoured body and add an additional element of interest.

front image © designboom

detail of seats image © designboom

detail of edges image © designboom

front and back image © designboom

detail image © designboom

backs image © designboom

detail of legs image courtesy of lei + christoph + jovana




altering the attributes of bamboo is ‘xuan’, a light that uses finely shredded slices to create a piece with great form and movement. chaotic but soft in its appearance, the curving pendant begins as a solid branch of bamboo – a material used for the handle and structural support of paper umbrella’s – and quickly unravels into a storm of fluttering and malleable strings.

‘xuan’ lamp image © designboom

detail of shade image © designboom

detail of shredded bamboo image © designboom




highly reminiscent of the paper umbrella is ‘wu’, a lamp that follows that same philosophies and utilizes the same materials as the traditional umbrella. a bamboo frame is draped with soft and flowing rice paper, that appears to be slightly blowing in the wind. underneath, an intricate system of undulating supports is exposed and contrasts both the colors and textures of the thin paper shade.

‘wu’ lamp image © designboom

detail of bamboo structure image © designboom

underside of light image courtesy of lei + christoph + jovana

overall pendant image courtesy of lei + christoph + jovana

detail of paper image courtesy of lei + christoph + jovana




see them also at the salone satellite in 2010.


lei + christoph + jovana of innovo design have participated in designboom’s curated exhibition ‘asia now’ at dwell on design in los angeles in june 2010. see a report here. the team has also participated in the following designboom competitions:


‘imagine the home in 2020’, the designboom / electrolux design competition 2005, with their project ‘the flavor of sunshine’. the entry looks at the method of sun-baking clothes which is considered to be a sterile practice in asia. people think that the smell of the sun-baked clothes has the flavor of sunshine. the technology of sun-ray simulation is applied in this dryer. in 2006, 2 of their projects were shortlisted in the designboom competition ‘shelter in a cart’.

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