May 6, 2021

Various Associates’s Sea-Inspired Pavilion for Shenzhen Design Week Represents Cultural Exchanges

A sea-inspired pavilion by Various Associates for Shenzhen Design Week represents the Chinese city’s ocean of cultural exchanges and creativity. Four designers were led by Various Associates 
co-founders and chief designers 
Qianyi Lin and Dongzi Yang. 350 scrap plywood sheets make up the 250 modules, rising 15 feet high, totaling 8,480 square feet.

A water motif nodding to local trade ports formed the basis of Breaking Boundaries, an installation by Various Associates for Design in Bay Area, the theme of last year’s furniture expo at China’s Shenzhen World Exhibition and Convention Center. Image courtesy of Various Associates.
A rendering illu­strates the pavilion’s stacked laser-cut ply­wood units, each of which could be used individually as a chair or grouped together into a desk or decorative element, held together via plastic mortise-and-tenon joints; both the wood and plastic were scrap. Image courtesy of Various Associates.
Design and construction took 20 days, which included painting the plywood an ocean blue. Photography by Zebing Li.
The modules en­abled quick disassembly after the exhibition and packed up nearly flat for easy transportation and storage. Photography courtesy of Various Associates.
Another rendering shows how they will be reass­em­bled and reused as tables and chairs for Various’s upcoming education project. Image courtesy of Various Associates.
Since the expo was co-organized by several bay area design institutes and co-curated by 21 designers from eight cities, Various’s wave concept underscored Shenzhen’s role as a developing metropolis of cultural fusion, inclusivity, and young talents pushing the city forward, like a sea that admits hundreds of rivers. Photography by Zebing Li.

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