Emperor | Archframe Design Awards 2021

Tian Zi (Emperor) is the first of the Imperial Furniture Series, born of the novel Neo-Sino design methodology. Coined by the designer Tiger ChongSheng Guo, Neo-Sino combines traditional design principles from China’s rich 5,000 year history, with culturally unbiased contemporary design practices.

Gold Winner – Archframe Design Awards 2021
Design Firm – Tiger Guo Design Studio
Project Title – Emperor
Project Category – Furniture Design
Project Status – Built
Architect/Designer – Tiger ChongSheng Guo
Design Team – Tiger Guo Design Studio
Practice – Professional Designer
Country – New Zealand

Neo-Sino believes that modern high design is derived almost exclusively from western design influences such as the neo-classism and Bauhaus movements. In addition to this, western influence has instigated much of the socioeconomic development of Asia in the last few centuries, resulting in many “Asian designs” falling short as poor western imitations. This style is strongly criticized by historians but not designers, such as with the early 18th century style of “Chinoiserie”, which is condemned by many societies, but not the artistic realm.

Neo-Sino aims to reintegrate ‘true’ Chinese design influence into the societies of high design, whilst remaining respectful of contemporary design methodologies and values.

Emperor is made from sustainable Jarrah, and brass.

Project Brief:

Emperor was commissioned by a private buyer, DK&H. The brief tasked us with designing a luxury based neo-sino table which was to act as a centre piece at one of the client’s guesthouses. The piece needed to be captivating and dominate the centre of the room, whilst being contemporary enough to integrate with the décor. The piece needed to showcase skill in carpentry, as befitting of the ancient Chinese, and have a hardwood that was reminiscent of Chinese rosewood. Similarly, skill in metalworking was needed, and a warm colour palette comprising of materials such as gold, copper, and bronze was preferred.

In the end, Jarrah and treated brass were chosen as the principal materials for these reasons.