Royal College of Art (RCA) graduate Ying Chang has created a three-dimensional modular system of furniture based on the two-dimensional grid system used in architectural and graphic design.

The modern grid system, pioneered by Josef Müller-Brockmann and Wim Crouwel, is a two-dimensional arrangement of intersecting lines that helps designers to lay out graphic elements such as pictures and text in a coherent fashion.

In Ying Chang’s project of the same name, the designer has applied these principles to three-dimensional spaces in order to challenge the way people think about and use the furniture around them. As living spaces get smaller and merge with working spaces, the use of tables, desks and shelving are evolving, yet their basic forms remain largely unchanged.

“People’s immediate perception of form is often restricted by the conventional ingrained response. The table is one the most used objects in our lives; it is a place of work and action, but it also as a place to exhibit personal things and preference. And yet its flat surface form has always stayed the same,” said Chang.

A modular system made of three components challenges people to create their own grid. The components are: mesh boxes in three sizes, A3 plane, A4 square section and A5 section; steel frames that hold the boxes together and aluminium rods that attach the boxed to the frames. Shelves and accessories can then be added to the grid to create furniture that meets their changing requirements.

“I set about creating an ‘elastic’ design, offering an alternative table that will adapt to people’s needs. The three dimensional platform offers ‘temporary parking spots’ with different possibilities for short term use, for example: sitting reading email, writing a note, having breakfast…”

The boxes are welded together from nylon powder-coated steel mesh. The coloured shelves are made from folded aluminium sheets and accessories are available in wood, mirror polished aluminium and concrete.

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