Sofan: Redefining the Traditional Folding Table

A Modern Take on a Classic Design

With the changing dwelling lifestyle, the typical sitting culture furniture, such as Soban, is still frequently used in contemporary life. Furniture has always been a medium to showcase the human way of life, and we can understand that era's culture and social structure through furniture. The Soban has changed from a necessity with a transport and dining table function to auxiliary furniture in contemporary life. Therefore, the design of modern Soban needs to reconsider the culture and behavior of the users so that it can meet the modern lifestyle.

Introducing Sofan, a revolutionary folding table designed by Qi An. Inspired by the traditional Chinese fan, this innovative piece of furniture combines functionality, mobility, and modern aesthetics. The unique design of Sofan allows it to be rolled up for easy storage, making it ideal for small spaces and nomadic lifestyles.

One of the standout features of Sofan is its versatility. The table top can be customized in different styles using various materials, allowing for a range of design possibilities. Additionally, the combination of different woods for the table legs creates a harmonious blend of traditional and modern elements.

The realization of Sofan involves the use of advanced technology. The table body is made of toon wood, while the different parts of the table top are separated using CNC cutting technology. Steel pipes are then used to connect the different parts, ensuring stability and durability.

With dimensions of 500mm in width, 500mm in depth, and 260mm in height, Sofan is designed to fit seamlessly into any living space. Its compact size makes it suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, depending on the choice of materials.

Qi An's design process for Sofan was driven by extensive research and analysis. By observing the lives of Chinese residents in Beijing and using Noldus software to analyze their living environments, the designer gained valuable insights into the habits and needs of the users. This research led to the realization that mobility and portable furniture are becoming increasingly important in modern lifestyles, inspiring the design of Sofan.

Overcoming various challenges, Qi An successfully incorporated the principles of nomadic furniture into the design of Sofan. By studying user behavior and storage needs, the Furniture Design Using Pattern approach was employed to achieve the functionality of nomadic furniture. The size and structure of Sofan were carefully determined through several iterations, resulting in a design that seamlessly blends form and function.

Sofan represents a harmonious fusion of tradition and modernity. By reimagining the functional and aesthetic elements of the traditional Soban, Qi An has created a timeless piece of furniture that caters to the needs of contemporary lifestyles. The use of new materials and technologies further enhances the sustainability and longevity of the design.

This exceptional design has been recognized with the prestigious Bronze A' Design Award in the Furniture Design category. The award acknowledges Sofan's outstanding creativity, resourcefulness, and contribution to improving the quality of life. By incorporating best practices in art, science, design, and technology, Sofan exemplifies the essence of the A' Design Award and sets a benchmark for innovative furniture design.

Project Details and Credits

Project Designers: Qi An
Image Credits: Image #1 : Photographer (An Qi / designer) Image #2 : Photographer (An Qi / designer) Image #3 : Photographer (An Qi / designer) Image #4 : Photographer (An Qi / designer) Image #5 : Photographer (An Qi / designer) Video Credits: Editor(Zhang Jianrui/ Editor)
Project Team Members: Qi An
Project Name: Sofan
Project Client: Qi An

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