Turning the tables— Shanghai


At China’s International Furniture Expo, Furniture Labo launched its Stellar Works collection. Proud to be made in Shanghai, it’s not only gaining fans abroad but also targeting discerning Chinese clients.

Carlo Forcolini, Kvadrat, OeO, SPACE Cph, Shuwa Tei/Intentionallies, Thomas Lykke, Yuichiro Hori

There was no dearth of junk furniture at September’s China International Furniture Expo. Some 1,900 vendors showcased everything from primary-coloured bunk beds and overly ornamented teak armoires to bland office desks and contract sofa sets. The five-day event, which filled five massive expo halls and had its own pop-up McDonald’s, swelled with over 74,000 visitors, fanning themselves to keep cool in the monsoon season heat. But it wasn’t all tack which occupied 300,000 sq m in Shanghai’s New International Expo Center in a neighbourhood called…

New thrones

Highlights of the Stellar Works debut collection are Shuwa Tei’s New Legacy line and SPACE Cph’s Lunar collection – each inspired by the other’s continent. Rounding out New Legacy’s vintage American gangster theme is the Godfather Double Chair, a two-seat bench. It nabbed the gold medal at the 2011 China Furniture Design Awards. The Danish Lunar collection, made from Chinese ash, draws inspiration from the moon. The barstool and club chairs are fitted with dusted brass tips and upholstered in wools from Kvadrat. A black cut-pattern wood screen and red lacquer table recall a bygone Shanghai era, but are understated enough for a contemporary living room in Zürich or São Paulo. “Classic Chinese design has a certain monumental feel and magic ornamentation to it,” says Henriksen, who was inspired by Yin, the female principal in Yin and Yang. “I actually love the idea of the ornamentation but wanted to transform it into a more subtle, modern and smooth form.”

  1. Float leather chair: This slimmed-down homage to Le Corbusier’s Basculant chair is a metal skeleton coated in carmel leather.

  2. Vito chair: This sculptural, masculine chair is a stout architectural creature with rigid angles.

  3. Donna chair: The feminine Donna features more curves and a wood-cloaked metal swivel mechanism, ideal for twisting round a desk.


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