Hongtao Zhou
Growing Chairs break ground in Shanghai
Growing Chairs break ground in Shanghai, in the old worker's neighborhood at Lujiazui Park located on Tongji University's campus. The installations represent organic growth of cities, free spirit within these spaces, and the neighborhood's urban regeneration demand.

The Growing Chairs all come from one simple form of a chair which then uses free-form bending technology to bend, grow, and react to the surrounding environment. The line work installations create new dialogues between the sculpture gestures, the people, and the land to make sculptural public seating for short term rest. They invite visitors and neighbors to react to the unusual chairs and promote children and visitors to think about the various methods of reactivating old, industrial, living neighborhoods. The bonds between the workers, the steel pipes, and the possibilities of forms reinforce the connection among the locals, the creative neighborhood, as well as the schools surrounding the sites.

This project is based within the Siping community next to Tongji University's College of Design and Innovation as a part of the Siping Regeneration Project to intervene the area with creative projects in the old-style workers' neighborhood, bringing art, design, and energy to a traditional, old community.

Hongtao Zhou is Shanghai Oriental Scholar Professor at College of Design and Innovation (D&I) of Tongji University. The Growing Chairs were presented at the World Innovation and Entrepreneurship Expo and at the China International Furniture Fair (CIFF-Shanghai) East Design Show.

Design Team
Hongtao Zhou, Meng Chen, Zhongjin Zhang, Xiaotong Zhang, Zhihao Li, Jue Mo, Ziran, Liu, Hongliang Wang, Cao Peifeng.