Serving time: Chi Wing Lo’s silver tea set celebrates craft, past, present and future

Chi Wing Lo’s silver tea set celebrates craft, past, present and future
Chi Wing Lo in the Dimensione Chi Wing Lo showroom in Milan with his tea set.
(Image credit: Alberto Zanetti)

Architect and designer Chi Wing Lo straddles East and West. Raised in Hong Kong and educated in the US, he designed for Giorgetti for two decades (serving as art director from 2004 to 2006) before creating his own furniture brand, Dimensione Chi Wing Lo, and home accessories range, 1ness. His work is borne out of longstanding partnerships with Italian workshops, bearing the hallmarks of contemporary European style while displaying a distinctively Chinese grace.

Invited by the Hong Kong Design Centre to participate in this year’s London Craft Week, Lo headlined a show at Seeds Gallery with textile designer Elaine Ng. His main contribution is a geometric tea set with a simple form that belies a complex manufacturing process.

The tea set, made from hand-polished

(Image credit: Alberto Zanetti)

The tea set, made from hand-polished slver and ebony accents

In lieu of casting (which lends itself to imperfections), Lo had his craftsmen carve out individual components by milling machine before welding them together. ‘It’s not a traditional way of making, but it allows for higher precision and clarity of form,’ he says. The surfaces are then hand-polished to achieve a tactile finish. Accented with ebony, Lo’s tea set anchors a wider repertoire of objects including a tea canister, a pitcher and various vases, all intended to evoke the somber elegance of a Vilhelm Hammershøi painting. They are at once timeless and avant-garde.

Lo takes pride in his close collaboration with craftsmen. ‘When it comes to realising designs in the workshop, I never give in, but I never insist,’ he explains. ‘I want to develop objects that understand the possibilities of craft, and bring craft forward to our times.’ 

As originally featured in the June 2017 issue of Wallpaper* (W*219)


For more information, visit the Seeds Gallery website and 1ness Design website

TF Chan is a former editor of Wallpaper* (2020-23), where he was responsible for the monthly print magazine, planning, commissioning, editing and writing long-lead content across all pillars. He also played a leading role in multi-channel editorial franchises, such as Wallpaper’s annual Design Awards, Guest Editor takeovers and Next Generation series. He aims to create world-class, visually-driven content while championing diversity, international representation and social impact. TF joined Wallpaper* as an intern in January 2013, and served as its commissioning editor from 2017-20, winning a 30 under 30 New Talent Award from the Professional Publishers’ Association. Born and raised in Hong Kong, he holds an undergraduate degree in history from Princeton University.