REVIEW: ‘The Misused’ Highlights Taiwan’s Special Knack for Upcycling

Two young Taiwanese designers plundered hardware stores to create contemporary homewares inspired by the predilection for grass-roots improvisation abundant in rural Taiwan.

The News Lens
Date: 2018/12/12
By: Kate Nicholson

Credit: Courtesy Chen Liang-jung and Yang Shuei-yuan

Heading down the steps into the basement of an old secondhand bookstore in historic Tainan, visitors to Taiwanese designers Chen Liang-jung (陳亮融) and Yang Shuei-yuan (楊水源)’s exhibition, “The Misused”, are greeted with what appeared to be yet another showcase of sleek and sultry contemporary homewares.

But as visitors wandered around the space, looking closely at the exhibited objects and the accompanying concept drawings adorning the walls, they began to spot little touches of the familiar. Does that mirror have a plastic doorstop attached to the back of it? Is the top of that vase actually a drain cover? And that notebook… is it made of a steel BBQ grill?

Chen, originally from Tainan, and Chiayi-born Yang are former classmates who first met when they were studying industrial product design at Taipei’s Shih Chien University. Following graduation, Chen moved back to Tainan and began working as a design contractor for a number of traditional manufacturers in central and southern Taiwan who were looking to start their own brand. Yang stayed in Taipei, taking a position at Studio Kenyon Yeh. With their combined experience – Yang’s in producing concepts as an in-house designer and Chen’s in product fabrication in both Taiwan and China – they began to discuss ways they could collaborate.    [FULL  STORY]

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