Living Material – Twig Vessels

Published on July 31, 2013

Salt & Pepper Bottle-2 Twigs From Hyde Park-2Test Sample - Rubber-2

“Living material” is a project exploring in a new design method to reutilize the most basic natural material. The aim of this project was to find out the potential of the material and visualize the beauty of the nature. By using different materials to mixed with twigs and branches in achieving many unpredictable outcomes but also presents a very different contrast between the each material. It is also a big challenge by using twigs and branches into another industrial application. The collection searches for a new application beyond conventional categories, although the experiment outcomes look very dedicated, but it does not absence any functionality and durability.

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Benwu Studio was founded in 2011 by Hongchao Wang ( ECAL/ University of Art & Design Lausanne ) and Peng You ( Royal College of Art ). Benwu Studio is based on both London and New York City with expertise and experience in furniture, product and spatial design. Their characteristic designs have left traces in homes, galleries and museums. They believe good conceptual thinking can be applied to anything, and new experiences can stimulate creativity. They immerse theirselves in all kinds of subjects. Inspired and refreshed their resulting dreams are made into reality through beautiful craftsmanship.

Serving Dish-2 Cactus Bottle-2 Candle Holder-2

Peng and Hongchao are young designers from China. They started their collaboration while they were still in school, and found Benwu Studio in the summer of 2011. The studio is currently based in both London and New York City. The idea of their design manifesto was inspired by a Zen philosophy term “Benwu” which means the unchangeable substance. They believe that good designs are simple objects with such perpetual integrity.


Apart from their design practice and education experience in the west, Peng and Hongchao were both born and raised in Suzhou, China, a city where the roofs are tiled in grey and the walls splattered white, and gardens are meticulously designed by architects. Those are the early age memories which draw their interest into design and architecture. However among all the established Chinese designers today, only few of them are focusing on contemporary design. Both realized that being a Chinese designer is not just about repeating their cultural clichés or copy what the western world has established. It’s about to conceive new element, visions and styles from your own perspectives which can actually inspire the others.

Benwu Studio


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