NONG STUDIO
Instead of Gold House, He Looks for the Treasure Map in Books

2017 / Shanghai, Huangpu / Completed / 180
Seeking Treasures at NONG STUDIO, A Granary Studio at No. 1908, South Suzhou River
As soon as the Shanghainese seek the root, Suzhou River often comes into their thoughts. The industrial buildings by Suzhou River have witnessed the rise and fall of Concession, as well as the emergence and growth of national industry. Started as a private granary of the triad boss Du Yuesheng, No. 1247 South Suzhou River then turned into a critical location of bank warehouse when Du established the “Imperial Bank of China”, and afterwards with the repair by Chasing Wang — a visiting designer to Italy, it now re-exhibits the intangible sense of history and original integrity of the building in a new and touchable shape.

Compared with the solemnity of the external building, the studio at the the second floor of the granary embodies a modern and humorous sense. There, behind the winding path end’s little black door, is a light and spacious granary, the main space with the ceiling as high as 4.5 meters, and the original wooden beams, columns and collection shelves bare. On the one side, the golden stainless steel bookshelf with the height the same with ceiling leaps to the eyes, which collects books of Chasing Wang and antiques, toys, design products and out-of-print LEGO models he took home from overseas tour. While on the other side, the collection shelf almost bears the history of modern industrial design, where the mini-version of VITRA master chair, limited car models and artworks fill the whole wall. When you walk into such a space, no matter how remarkable the design is, it would be second to the content. Visitors could not help to be attracted to his collections, listen to his traveling experiences around the world and the sources of these collections, and then be eager to touch and feel. Everyone is totally concerned about these beads, forgetting that gorgeous shell.

Switching skillfully between the vogue and tradition, Chasing Wang insists that creativity should be a lifestyle rather than a job. For design, he plays with the boring space; for life, he pursues interesting experience. He is obsessed with collecting all kinds of antique furniture designs, and inspired by those, he then adds certain super-scale elements in the retro design. He is so immersed in the game of free creation. So you see this bookshelf, an iron pot by Masayuki Kurokawa is after two books, and then separated by a lattice is the limited edition bookshelf of Sottsass; the next layer may be the limited edition set of books for the 30 anniversary of National Geographic Magazine, with a vintage telescope shopped from an American antique store next to it. ……Pointing to this, he said, “I often pretend to watch the distant, and call my mother who lives next door, telling a little lie that the color of her skirt today looks funny.” “Everyone should have their own aesthetic space, where there are favorites they tend to play with.” Design is nothing more than playing, and as for elegantly showing the space in such a relaxed way, NONG DESIGN is totally skilled at.

As we are confused by the so-called "style" and "material", the original impulse of design seems to be increasingly thin. In such a gold house full of dreams and stories, we seem to notice that we have been imprisoned for too long, failed to play and failed to how to play for too long. As soon as the design tells a person's life and experience, it is no longer a fashionable product, but the pursuing of emotion nature.