Jun 1, 2009

AIGA XCD Student Showcase

June heralds graduation, student shows and reflections upon “Design in the Real World”. In the spirit of the season, the Crosscultural Junction would like to showcase the work of Michael Tsang, a Product Design graduate from the Parsons School of Design.

Following is a recap of his Senior Thesis, with the images of  prototypes made out of bamboo plywood and finishes. We invite you to take a look at Michael’s exploration of Culture in Furniture Design.

If you are a student and would like to share your experiences, email us.

For a visual analysis of Michael’s presentation, click here.


MING “er” means MING 2 in Chinese; the new generation of Ming dynasty design.My mission is to renew the appreciation of traditional Chinese furniture by introducing it with a modern twist into the contemporary home of the growing middle class Chinese in urban China. The Chinese middle class is rapidly growing in urban areas in China. Due to this, there is a growing demand for furniture as new homes are being purchased. One sees a diminishing appreciation for their cultural heritage, as they are drawn to western modern design due partly to the influence of the media such as television, advertisement, etc, that provides exposure to the western world. My goal is to instill cultural pride and appreciation in the consumer by designing modern furniture that has Chinese traditional values.

MING 2 provides an exciting alternative for people who typically avoid traditional Chinese furniture through customization, comfort, and style options.


MING 2 is a Chinese brand that gives customers an opportunity to customize their home furniture through this website, which allows them to combine different components depending on their taste.

Through the design process, users can also find detailed information on traditional Chinese design motifs. The design inspiration is the Ming style, which is considered the golden age of Chinese furniture design. MING 2 uses recognizable features of this era such as smooth flowing lines, elegant ornamentation, and non-mechanical joinery.


MING 2 uses bamboo plywood, which is locally available and is eco-friendly and durable. The colored stains, which are provided by Valspar, are also environmentally sustainable. Valspar provides a satin sealer, which will be applied to protect the stain.

Michael Tsang was born in New Zealand and raised in Hong Kong.
“I have always aspired to become a successful designer and businessman in a competitive world. As the only boy in a family of five children, I have come to realize that I may have to shoulder a lot of family obligations and responsibilities one day. My father is a businessman, I am expected to eventually follow his footsteps and help run the family business. My passion, however, remains design. I have always been interested in creating high-level products and furniture, focusing on form and functionality.
I have passion for my Chinese heritage, especially traditional craftsmanship and customs. On top of all this, my interest in environmental awareness is increasing, in line with the growing concern about global warming. In the future, I would like to find a balance between my interests and my responsibilities.”

Michael would like to thank AIGA XCD for supporting him with a network of designers and counselors during his research.


  • Very creative and nice one.

  • Hai, i am the admin of elobing.com .Thank’s for sharing this information.This is very useful and informative material.Good post and keep it up friend.

Leave a comment