Melbourne Now

Melbourne now was an exhibition held in Melbourne showcasing what’s current in architecture, fashion, performing arts, the arts and design.

Some images from the exhibition that where reflective or reminded me of the asian design landscape. Some ideas are more abstract than the rest…









This black cat reminded me of the Japanese Maneki-neko cat which is usually made from ceramics and is said to bring the owner good luck. This black cat which was positioned between two floors via staircase felt like it could have been there for good or bad luck depending on how you percieve black cats, which are typically a symbol for bad luck in western culture.



Jarrod Lims, ‘Koi Chair’ was showcased in Melbourne Now. ‘Koi’ is a Japanese word that means ‘Carp’ which is a colourful domestic fish that comes in a variety of different colours. They are typically found in traditional Japanese gardens and can be quite big in size. The rounded pattern found through Jarrod Lims chair reminds me of the scales of a fish. I can clearly see the connections to the Koi fish in this chair through the size of the patterns and the rounded shape of the chair.


Jarrod Lims, ‘rocking chair’ is made from soft sheep wool and a wooden structure. It made me realise that potentially rocking chairs could be made for adults too! I could picture it in a Japanese ski lodge as it has a cute look to it and also a luxurious warm feel.


Lauren Berkowitz is an artists practicing in Melbourne. Her installation  ‘Physic Garden’ is a sensory experience with plants that are for medicinal needs, some are also edible. Culturally the western world is reliant on pharmacies and doctors for most treatments. I’m reminded of chinese medicines that use plants and herbs to treat the sick. Perhaps  there is more that can be learnt from Asian medical culture, instead of relying on pharmaceutical companies.


Melbourne Now presented a Design Wall with 40 design projects by 21 Melbourne design design studios. I found that when designs were displayed on a giant wall like this it reminds me of the manufacturing processes that play a big part in the design and production of these objects. I wonder if designers will continue to get there designs made in Australia or look to Asia like so many others for cheaper manufacturing processes.



The rest of Week 1 (Late post)

Part 3 – Asian Design network 

Part 4 – Summary of magazine article

This article demonstrated to me the real care and thought that goes into traditional acts in Asian culture, in this case it was bathing. This design has primarily been influenced by steam rooms and bath houses, as it attempts to capture the true meaning of Furo (bath), as it is not just a simple bath, but a time for ones rejuvenation of the spirit, body and soul. The foamy cream like contents of this bath also interested me, because I had never known that it was common to bath in foam. Furthermore, it only requires half the amount of water than a normal bath would. Ultimately, this ergonomic bath tub really intrigues me as I have never read up on such a design before. 

Part 5 – Asian Design


Week 3 Design Concept


Throughout the course, I have come to discover that historical Asian design is what is mostly attributed to as Asian design, because of its distinct style. While modern Asian design, incorporates influences from other cultures to bring out a modern style. This design incorporates Asian design and western design by incorporating Chinese lanterns into a design inspired by western chandeliers.

CNC milling would be used to create the octagonal wooden piece which the lanterns are hung upon, as well the frame of the lanterns. The frame of the lanterns would be separated into four identical pieces and milled separately, and later joined with a strong glue. After the frame is assembled, the lighting is wired in. The red paper covering would be cut by hand and glued onto the assembled lantern frame, then gold strips added on top to hide the edges of the red paper covering.

The CNC machine can be found in Building 8 or Building 49. To use the CNC machine, first get you design approved by the technician. Once approved, the technician will upload the file and begin the milling.

4 Asian Design Projects (Week 4)

 1.  ‘Nadia’ Furniture Collection

 Company: Matsuso T

Designer: Jin Kuramoto

matsuso-t-nadia-collection-by-Jin-Kuramoto-designboom02The ‘Nadia’ Furniture Collection is an interesting solid wood series based on inherited Japanese craftsmanship techniques used in traditional carpentry for shipwrights.  The collection consists of a series of premium timber chairs, tables and coat racks.  The whole ‘Nadia’ series has been developed by focusing on a traditional method, known as ‘Kumiki’, an interlocking technique.  This is an interlocking technique used by Japanese carpenters that originates from traditional Japanese ships and the maritime industry. By incorporating the traditional ‘Kumiki’ technique for the primary construction, it enhances the strength while creating a very unique and distinctive design.














2.  Agravic Stone Table

Designer: Tokujin Yoshioka

This table designed by Tokujin Yoshioka is an eye-catching ‘ultra modern- bordering on futuristic’ design.  The design was inspired by Tokujin’s vision or imagination of the future, with the massive furniture piece that seems to free itself from gravity, existing in its own presence as if it were floating in the air.




 3.  Kenneth Cobonpue

cobonpueEven though this is not an Asian design project as such, I still thought it was very interesting…

Kenneth Cobonpue was born and raised in Cebu, Philippines.  He is an industrial designer and has begun to be recognised globally for his signature designs in natural fibres and materials. His designs mainly focus on nature’s forms using rattan, buri, bamboo, and abaca.  Due to his Asian heritage, he is known for his passion and utilisation of local craft and natural materials.  Kenneth Cobonpue is one of the few Asian designers to have successfully broken into the international design scene. So it’s perhaps not surprising that for its inaugural edition, Maison&Objet Asia has named him their ‘Designer of the Year’.



Some extracts from “5 Minutes with Kenneth Cobonpue.”

What inspires you?

It comes from all sorts of places. I try not to force inspiration, but let it come naturally. But sometimes I still need to sit down and put myself in the right mood to be inspired. I’ve made furniture that’s been inspired by all sorts of things, like a crushed Coke can or a piece of croissant, and they’ve been successful pieces.

An example of one of the strangest source of inspiration came when my dog was giving birth. I was working on the design of a gazebo for a show and looking at the little puppies and so I came up with a design in the shape of a dog! And it worked really well.

What do you think is the number one challenge for the design industry in the Philippines or Southeast Asia?

A design industry thrives when there’s also a manufacturing industry. That’s why Italy is great because they have both. But we are in this region there are a lot of companies who are doing good work: Thailand, Philippines… and Singapore for example, by being very cosmopolitan, has a unique role to play. You’re more exposed, so to speak. But it’s good and bad. The design can become too homogenous or too generic, which is what’s happening now.

How do we overcome this?

I think you really have to [make a] conscious effort to search for something new, something different.

What’s the difference between Western and Asian designers?

Something I can do that others can’t… when it comes to weaving and finding new ways to weave, and new materials, I think we are second to none in Asia. We have experience in weaving almost anything from carbon fibre to bamboo to combination of composite materials. We’ve been doing it a long time. It’s a cultural thing.

If you have one advice for designers who are just starting out, what would it be?

I think it’s to do what’s natural, what’s in your heart. I think you need to have that spirit of fun, to show that you enjoy what you’re doing. Too often I see designers who are following trends, or want to be too commercial and they become ‘nothing’, [there’s] no soul. To find the soul it has to be something that you want to do. It’s important to put yourself in the design as well, and to come up with products that have heart.









 4.  Avein Office Chair

Company: KOKUYO

Designer:  Shunji Yamanaka

27 With the growing number of people sitting at desks in front of computers it is important to have a good posture to reduce the chance of pains and problems such as RSI.  The

Japanese based company ‘KOKUYO takes user comfort to new heights with Avein with its innovative airflow feature. Since its establishment in Japan in 1905, KOKUYO has been making products that heavily consider the users’ perspective.

The Avein chair is designed by Shunji Yamanaka. The Japenese designer has incorporated many innovative ergonomic features that help to make this chair one of the most comfortable and supportive office chairs.  KOKUYO explains the chairs features: “Avein incorporates uniquely developed air cushions that match the contours of the human body. Each set of cushions – two on the top and bottom of the chair back and two on the front and rear of the seat – are connected by ‘air veins’. Air flows between the paired up air cushions in response to the user’s posture and movements, to optimise the distribution of body pressure. In addition, valves control the flow of air between the cushions, to enable the user to change the comfort levels with infinite possibilities.”






Week 3 Concept Asian Design



rmit silk road

this would require some exact measurement of where it all fits, but solidworks would help in the design and CNC machining each piece would be good.
CNC machining would be my best option at this point for my design, as it is all flat pieces that are joined together to create the sculpture.

Gossard Workshop in Bld 49
there are a couple of people that are very helpful, kevin would be one man of the the four or so there. what you need, a substantial amount of time just to get everything right to their standards. You will need your file that you drew up tranfer it to Rhino and check over with the staff a few times before making a booking and making your sculpture come to life.

Week 2 Asian base design













Floor lamp by aunt & amelung

A concept of a beam cranes across the lampshade, and having a sand bag at the bottom join to the stick. To move the sandbag in different position can make the light having four different position.



MCE Lamp by Note design Studio

It was inspired by a artist M.C.Escher, so it named MCE Lamp. It was inspire by artist’s famous “impossible structures”. This shape weren’t special, but it can hold a Glass ball strongly and Safety.



Glow design by Agustina Bottoni

It is a tea pot design, the concept of using the small candle is to maximize the luminance and heat potential, a tea can be hit up in hours or more. To using the shape of the bottle, can make the tea stays in the bottle and fill out the tea. The cup design has a similar style to the candle, having a small cover with a filter design.


chessalfiere 1

Chess Stools by Giogio banaguro for Icons Furniture

This design for icons furniture wants to give a playful interpretation to this kind of furniture. This product has been taking inspiration by chess, they want to enphatize shapes and characteristics of the chess pieces, so that people can use it in game aswell.

Week 3 – Product Design



This is a Japanese Sushi plate. Having an inspiration of Japanese small bridge in the garden. The materials of use are wood, it reflect to Japanese tradition. It a concept of joining small wood board together on a wood base. and dig a curve shape on the side of the wood base to fill in the sauce.

To turn into a final work, you can use saw bench and band Saw to create the wood board, and using wood joinery to join the board together or using stainless strew to joint the wood board and the base together.

Saw Bench


The bench can be find at the workshop located in Building 8. To use it, you can email to the workshop to tells about your interest of using the machine. To use this machine, if your work are very complex, they might do the work for u and ask for another time to grab your work. If the work that you are doing are quite simple, they will ask u to do a training section to quickly get on to it.

Contemporary Silk Road – Week 2

Part 2

Galaxy Soho 



Designer : Zaha Hadid

Website Link :

Location : China Beijing

Concept : Having four different egg shapes and connect together in different levels. Have a while shape while looking from east side, looking from the top, a look of split flower cells.

Targeting Market : Having Shopping Mall at the bottom level, having office at the higher level for some new business, and having bars and restaurant at the highest level.

Photographs of Exhibition 

This is a design reflect to Chinese Food tradition, which is hotpot.


Using Bamboo reflect to Japanese culture


Chinese calendar which influence Chinese cultrue.