In early December 2021, Mario Tsai (opens in new tab) announced the Hardware Shop Project, based on a series of explorations on the theme of open source design, inspired by the potential of standard, easy to source hardware store materials. A pop-up in Shanghai unveiled the beginning of Tsai’s thinking, with more designs (as well as instructions) planned for the coming months by the designer and his team.
Hardware shop-inspired design
‘Huida Hardware Shop is located in a village not far from the studio, at the foot of the mountain,’ explains Hangzhou-based Tsai. ‘It mainly sells the hardware and materials needed in the life of the villagers.’ Tsai’s design team started experimenting with some basic materials from the shop, focusing on smoke hoses and foam.
The design team then created the Hose Collection, which includes furniture, lighting and accessories, with the idea that the production details and materials for each of the works will be shared on the project’s website.
The objects include a bench made by simply bending the thick silver tubes into an archetypal seat, and two lighting designs made of hoses in different thicknesses, one concealing the light source within, and the other featuring a knotted design and a lightbulb peeking out from one end. Using smaller black tubes, the team also created a series of knotted vases and wrapped the material around a piece of clear glass to make a small table. Foam, another readily available material, was used to fill the ends of the tubes for stability or to hold cables in place.
Each design can be traced back to Tsai’s intuitive aesthetic language, with an approach somewhere between minimalism and functionality. Tsai calls this project ‘an exploration of public creation’. The simple principle of the initiative, he notes, consists in finding basic construction materials, creating everyday objects in different ways, and hoping to make their production open to the public.
hardwareshopproject.com (opens in new tab)
Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.
Berlinde de Bruyckere on religion, chaos and decay: ‘simplicity is the territory of humans’
Ahead of her show at Hauser & Wirth Zurich, Limmatstrasse we speak to Belgian sculptor and visual artist Berlinde de Bruyckere on her show ‘A simple prophecy,’ on from 26 January – 13 May 2023
By Martha Elliott • Published
Under-the-radar bag labels to know
From New Zealand to Japan, get to know the under-the-radar bag labels eschewing trends in favour of long-lasting good design
By Tilly Macalister-Smith • Published
Rala Choi: ‘Now is the time to ask photographers about what photography is’
We profile rising star photographer Rala Choi, whose vivid, ethereal images draw on the legacies of art history
By Sophie Gladstone • Published