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Jianze: Crafting a Greener Future with Bamboo Design

Jianze: Crafting a Greener Future with Bamboo Design
The Qiáo series includes stackable wooden chairs and coffee tables. Courtesy of Jianze.

Jianze, launched in 2021, combines innovative design with sustainable practices, notably through its Zhú Bamboo Research Project and Qiáo series, to create eco-friendly, expressive home living solutions.

Since its launch in 2021, Jianze has steadfastly believed in the transformative power of design to inspire self-expression. The brand’s mission to redefine spatial aesthetics goes beyond traditional boundaries, continuously setting new standards. By harnessing the creativity of diverse design talents from both local and international spheres, Jianze crafts inclusive and eco-friendly designs tailored for the younger generation. Their goal: to make home living both stress-free and a true reflection of individual style.

Zhú – Unveiling the Hidden Potential of Chinese Bamboo

One of Jianze’s most ambitious initiatives is the Zhú Chinese Bamboo Research Project. This project aims to identify and document the most suitable bamboo varieties for small-scale production and crafting in southeastern China. By exploring various species known for their unique aesthetic and exceptional structural qualities, the project seeks to integrate bamboo—a material deeply rooted in Chinese folk traditions—into contemporary design.

Led by Ville Kokkonen, in collaboration with Jianze, the project brings together esteemed experts like craft master Wang Rong Long and furniture master Yin Hong Qiang. Their collective expertise ensures a comprehensive understanding of bamboo’s best varieties and their practical applications in crafts and furniture production. The project’s findings will be compiled into a publication and demonstrated in the coming years, highlighting bamboo’s cultural and practical significance in the region.

Currently, the project focuses on the possibilities of using Chinese bamboo as a sustainable alternative to common hardwoods. A notable discovery is the unique bamboo species “棕竹” (Zong Zhu), identified through discussions with Wang Rong Long. Known for its solid structure and distinct fibrous core, Zong Zhu is ideal for furniture made using mortise and tenon joinery.

Jianze showcased its research and various furniture structures made with Zong Zhu at the 3daysofdesign event.

Qiáo Series: Bridging Cultures and Lifestyles

The Qiáo series, conceived by Finnish designer Ville Kokkonen, was inspired by the city of Hangzhou, China—a city celebrated for its numerous bridges spanning West Lake, Qiantang River, and the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal. Qiáo, meaning “bridge” in Chinese, symbolizes the brand’s aspiration to connect different cultures and lifestyles through design.

The Qiáo Chair is a stackable wooden chair crafted from oak, featuring a paper cord upholstered backrest. Its tapered legs, which widen at the center for sturdy joinery, give it a slender yet robust appearance. The solid oak seat frame defines the chair’s construction and stability, while its conscious seat width ensures comfort for all users. The slim, curved backrest adds to its character. Stackable up to six chairs, it saves space when stored, making it versatile for various settings.

The Qiáo Coffee Table features slender legs supporting a spacious tabletop, with rounded corners to prevent collisions and create a smoother appearance in any space. Its simple, unobtrusive form allows it to fit seamlessly into any scene, providing users with a stable platform for their favorite objects.

Ville Kokkonen: The Visionary Behind Jianze’s Innovations

Ville Kokkonen, born in Finland in 1975, is a distinguished industrial designer whose Swiss-based office focuses on projects driven by technological and scientific discovery. Kokkonen’s multidisciplinary approach spans product design, material and cultural research, crafts, applied sciences, and engineering. His work often explores healthier living conditions and sustainable problem-solving. From 2017 to 2021, Kokkonen held a professorship in furniture design at Aalto University’s School of Arts, Design, and Architecture, and he continues to share his insights through lectures at numerous institutions.

Jianze’s innovative designs and collaborative projects, like the Zhú Bamboo Research Project and the Qiáo series, exemplify the brand’s commitment to pushing boundaries and fostering a sustainable, expressive, and interconnected world.

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