Introduction: His furnishing works are full of humor and wit, expressed in solid wood. Envision a lively scherzo of a symphony: though playful, it is always graceful.
Profile: In 2011, Zhang Yange, who studied art in France, bid farewell to the designer life in Paris, he returned to China and established a design studio for home furnishings — iiinsitu studio. The irreverent, mischievous designs at iiinsitu studio is full of playfulness that makes people smile.
Zhang who is purely artistic, opposes words such as “restrictions”, “stereotypes” and advocates “breaking through conventions”. Interestingly, for nearly a decade since he first opened his design studio, he has held a passion for American hardwood. Expressing his thoughts on life through designs made of traditional solid wood materials, there is no lack of wit and whimsy in his works. Just like a scherzo of a symphony; although playful, it is always elegant.
Interesting People Become More Interesting
Designers who favor solid wood will mention that this material elicits feelings of warmth and comfort. The anti-formulaic Zhang Yange has his own insights. “The material (wood) is the carrier. The work is a collaboration between the material and the designer,” he says. “The final effect should not be limited to the original features of the material.”
Each piece at iiinsitu studio is available in three styles of American hardwood: walnut, cherry and ash in three shades (black, white and gray). Each choice creates a different indoor atmosphere. From furniture to decor, sweet or salty, dignified like a spring cake table, atmospheric like an alpha table, smart like a mushroom dressing table, naughty like a washboard, heat insulation pad, or a whimsical manhole cover pot holder.
If the material is the carrier of design, then home is the carrier of life. Zhang uses home design as a means to communicate with his customers. “Appreciating the same works of design probably means that we are a kindred spirit in life,” he says.
Zhang has created a low-key, restrained series of Good Guys and an eye-catching series of Bad Guys. The former focuses on introverted, simple yet versatile style. Zhang hopes that no matter whether it’s new Chinese, Nordic or Japanese style, the Good Guys series can be integrated into it. The Bad Guys series is the designer’s own self-expression by intimately knowing oneself.
When a piece of furniture is approached by the user, it begins to record and tell a new story. This is another reason for Zhang’s choice in using natural American hardwood materials. “Natural hardwood furniture will grow and age with its owner,” he said. “With each season, and each year, the color and luster of the wood will experience delicate changes and over time be restored again. Memories are pieced together through the scuff marks on the furniture, or an imprint of a wine glass after a romantic evening. Cleaning the wood furniture does a form of ‘medical beauty’ for the piece, because pure natural materials are easy to maintain.”
Ideal for Entrepreneurs
In addition to satisfying his own creative demands and fulfilling user experience, Zhang admits another reason for using wood. “American hardwood allows designers to start a business at a small cost,” he says.
First, materials such as plates and metals require an industrial production chain, which means that scale and costs are closely related, precisely the limitations for originality and start-up. Using wood gives room to survive in a competitive market, which in turn allows opportunity and space for growth. “At the very least, we can always start in the craftsman’s workshop,” Zhang said.
Second, Zhang values the sustainability and quality assurance of American hardwood. Due to the lengthy history of the American hardwood industry, common industry standards are well established and a complete industrial system ensures legitimacy and sustainable quality. With those assurances, consumers feel more secure and at peace with their choices.
“We are an online independent designer brand, so photos and videos are the window for customers to know our brand,” he explains. “This requires strict quality, texture and color standards of the wood. The products we request to export guarantee stable quality and appearance for up to ten years.” Years of experience and credibility have made American hardwood the first choice for iiinsitu studio.
The third aspect of American hardwood is environmental protection. Zhang offers a new definition for this: the material itself is natural and environmentally friendly, the production process is green and safe, the finished product has lasting vitality, and its long life can reduce waste caused by short-term, easily replaceable products.
Despite the growing popularity of his designs, Zhang has maintained his original craftsman spirit since setting up his business. After hearing that American hardwood TMT technology has been steadily improving wood materials, he cannot hide his joy and excitement. Hopefully it won’t be long before Zhang gives the world a new series of products made and inspired by American hardwood.
Furniture Design Works by Zhang Yange
American Ash: Ash has a clear texture, natural and beautiful temperament. It is a very hard and durable species, and is one of the most widely used in thermal modification. Another advantage is that the bending performance is excellent, suitable for meeting designers’ elaborate ideas.
Mushroom Dressing Table
Creative Home Furnishings
American Walnut: Walnut is calm in color, delicate in texture, elegant and generous. It tends to have a noble vibe, accounting for only 1 percent of American wood, but due to its large base, the reserves are still very considerable.
Popsicle Double Door Cabinet
American Cherry and Ash
American Cherry: The texture of cherry is delicate with brown tree heart spots and small tree capsules, smooth to touch. Cherry is popular among many designers, and Criswell Davis is also a fan. It is easy to use, and is suitable for furniture, interior flooring and joinery. Interestingly, it is photo sensitive and its color will darken over time to a subtle brown color.