» Collection Qing Zuo

Collection Qing Zuo

‘Qing Zuo !, Please Sit down' project came from various corners this work period 2007 in China the combination of investigating and meanwhile focussing on material experiment. The combination of investigating in habits of use, by documenting sitting behavior and use of daily sitting materials and also with focussing on material experiment in their environment. This project was part of the MA graduation at the RCA in London.

The title Qing Zuo is an invitation, subtle but direct, not only about the relation between product and user but also between the people itself, a dialogue. A dialogue between use and material, body language and sensation. The material and techniques of making the stools come from making diverse wood sitting object tests, learning new techniques to make hollow porcelain strong physical objects and socially through working together with their direct inventiveness to push the functional limits of porcelain. Looking from the different perspectives, we were interested in how material could be explored but also how people explore material.

After the first worktrip to China it became quickly very clear that this was a ongoing journey that went beyond a work visit but letting it evolve into a meaningful relationship building new plans with the contacts made in and around China.

This time the journey was much more conscious and focussed on future work relationships and establishing a warm base with manufactures, craftsmen and designers in Middle and the North China Also the perspectives changed while building work with bridging into other cultures and creating a high quality of work together.

We became fascinated how people use material to sit on and specially in China where this was opposite of my material experiences, using ceramics, wood and cushions and use them in distorted ways then I expected but with functional end. The work evolves in that my ceramic work and design are creating a wider base for work, interest in human behavior, environment and cultural mind swaps make that ceramics goes beyond tableware and basic tools.

One of the projects was working on research experiments on the importance of craft within design and work with local and new techniques. This became practical by working few weeks in a studio again and working more closely with the local craftsmen but also through great appointments with a high quality factory in North China. This evolved into a fruitful relationship where there was space to talk about experiment, creative nature in workers, brainstorms and create a warm connection to keep the line between designer and manufacture close, in able to explore the process of design meaningful.

Our experiences and processes were covered on a 5 page report on the DAMN magazine no. 17 june/july 2008. You can download this as a PDF here (1,2 MB).

The network was surprisingly exploded since the first time visit and with great enthusiasm this was realizing new plans for future. Next to all the work, exploring the options for work studio where the ideas for, material experiment, clinics, writing and engagement could be explored.  China became filled up months in a hot summer environment discussing and documenting a exciting path that was only about to start..




Presentation in 2007 by Judith van den Boom,  Jingdezhen PRC at PWS studio’s   

You showed us a surprising movie about Jingdezhen, why did you start with this? ‘I made a movie by driving through Jingdezhen, it is full of motion and music and pulsated the rhythms that I experience from a non local perspective.  Every time I was on the road I realized again how this motion that gives me the feeling of being that visitor in a city that felt like home. The hectic life outside the taxi is like a movie screen, meanwhile I’m breathing in parts of this, understanding, gazing and comprehending my view and passion on these local infrastructures. With transformed colors and combined with sounds it was a powerful media to use in the presentation and it took the people from Jingdezhen right back into my bubble. It was a great way to open the presentation and create through this a dialogue by sharing how differently we experience our surroundings.’

How does your past in product design influence or change the current work you do in porcelain and clay ? ‘My background matters a lot, it is essential in what choices I make and how I look at our environment and create my work-methods. I need my roots in able to value and process the work and thoughts I have. Between the work in product design and what I focus now on in clay isn’t such a broad border but I enjoy working on the fine line exploring design, crafts and using a more local approach. The reality of working and knowing the processes of creating has become much more important to me and fuels a lot of new scenario’s and thoughts around creating more relations around my design work.  My past experiences with for example Royal Delft evolved into new ones with manufactures but it also made me more curious about their roots, history and the origin and power of making.

My present work with clay develops a new understanding in working, in product design the thinking was much more the work and this has evolved in having the material do more choice making, so really working with it’s natural qualities. I give material more freedom now in the end-result, with quality and esthetic in mind while before in my product thinking the end-result was much more a set goal. Now I’m fully in the processes and power of making, being hand’s on and value high realm of thinking & making by experiencing. Taking the design of paper and in the hand !’

How do you view your future with clay and how does revisiting places influence this? ‘After my Master in Applied Arts/Ceramics at the Royal College it made me value even more the relations between materials/design and it’s deep knowledge and roots. I choose to have more knowhow and hands-on experience with clay and really get to know it then only touching surface with a design project. It created a lot of new views, not just in techniques but even more with working with the whole work culture around this and the position of the material ceramic in our world. Doing my MA gave me unique opportunity to explore this and challenge my own ideas about ceramic material can do or become, I still passionately work with other materials as well or try to look more in the educational side of design, service design.

Also my work abroad in China changed me a lot, It’s been now a ongoing trip of returning and also having our own studio there. I was there during my MA study times and the discussion and bridging between cultures is my engine in many ways. By now I can say that the Interrelations between me and the material, the audience and different disciplines make me who I am, I am a designer but with a fresh language learned outside my comfort zone and this builds on my passion for environment & people, they can not be placed in one box, our cultures are a lively proof of this. Learning and being able to understand the other is a ongoing journey.’