Designers on your doorstep

Mia Kang

Organic and artistic designs have a tendency to emerge after a big crisis or simplification of design in many industries by demand of society. Art Nouveau was an internationally emerged style between 1890 and 1910 after Historism. It was indeed a mind-blowing style taking inspiration from the organic shapes of nature. But it had to be diminished because of its inefficient process of manufacturing despite adapting modern materials. A century after that, we are facing a long pause on moving around places, even a simple commute from home and office. I suggest that it is time to say goodbye to the fast-living style and bring the beauty of nature into our own space while respecting it by reducing artificial wastes. The Narsha and Art Nouveau coffee table is a style centrepiece for the living area that is designed to up-cycle construction waste and use modern technology for production, yet taking the timeless appeal of a traditional look. The featuring materials are the offcuts/rejects of pre-finished timber boards which I collected from a renovation site right before they went into a skip bin.

IMAGE > Mia Kang, <em>Narsha and Art Nouveau</em>, 2021, engineered and pre-finished timber parquets (rejected), reclaimed messmate solid timber and gold acrylic paint, 51 x 89 x 61 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.
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Audio Description

During more than 200 days of being at home, I got so sensitive to everything in there. Something that had been just taking up the space had to be gone, chairs that were so-so to use had to be replaced. Things that were stuck in my closet had to be organised. At least one of the things I could get from outside the home was brought in, for example the cafe experience that includes some coziness with good music and sound system. Before this pandemic, I was not concerned about these things too much because I could always find alternatives in so many ways, anytime, any place. But now, a home has to be fulfilling enough, and so does each item in there.

The limitation of things I can do actually helped me study some more techniques and other practices about woodworking and industrial design. I found out some good educator groups, started reading books about finish techniques, etc. I know that consuming this information would give random help with my future work, and sometimes just by reading these articles and watching documentaries they inspire me for upcycling projects I can try in the future. More importantly, they remind me of some things I have forgotten both as a designer and a maker. For now, I'm not really on some projects but I still feel something going on. Looking back, I was always busy, juggling too many balls in the air, only EXHALE. But now, I'm inhaling.

I suggest that it is time to say goodbye to the fast-living style and bring the beauty of nature into our own space while respecting it by reducing artificial wastes. 

My favourite room at home is definitely the living room. In there I have so many sitting options, a dining chair or a couch or on the floor. With some loud music and having some tea, sitting, I can still relax, not tempted to go back to bed and get lazy.

So far, my favourite design object in my home is an electric fireplace. It is a small antique looking one that kept me warm throughout this winter. The best part about this object is that I can still watch the flame effect without turning the heater on, which means I can still get this warm and cosy feeling without getting hot in summer. I think this one is going to be one of my all-time mates for a while.

I started having Chai Latte at home. It was one of my usual when I go to a cafe and I must have one from the sticky tea leaf, no powder! I especially love the experience of pouring the milk from the jug, into my mug, watching the leaves getting strained. I missed it so much that I decided to bring it home.

Ingredients & equipment
40gm Sticky Chai from Prana
600mL stainless steel milk jug
tea strainer
400ml soy milk.

Put the milk jug on a stovetop, pour milk in and add sticky chai. On the lowest heat, boil it until you see some small bubbles on top. When it is ready, it looks brown enough. I allow 10 mins for this result and stir them from time to time.

Enjoy your tea! The longer you let it soaked with tea leaves and spice the deeper the taste gets. So take your time with it.

IMAGES [Top to bottom] > All images courtesy of the artist. Recipe image source: unsplash.

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Designers on your doorstep

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