Tradition or Innovation? Studio Kae Gives You Both

Based in Shanghai, the design studio KAE is dedicated to breathing new life into home products with innovative processes and sustainable materials. The studio seeks to develop unique design languages from the relationship between fundamental industrial production and craftsmanship.

Studio Kae’s Coffire Pendant Light offers a new possibility for used coffee grounds. Using ancient pit burning technology, the grounds are fired onto the surface of the lamp at low temperatures. The coffee releases sugar and biodiesel which leaves behind random pink swirls on the lamp. This ancient technique combined with modern technology gives COFFIRE its signature pink marble-like surface texture. 

Did you know?

400 billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide each year, producing at least 8 million tons of coffee grounds. Most coffee grounds are discarded, landfilled, or incinerated along with other waste.

400 billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide each year

The Layer-glazing project from Studio Kae features a unique Chinese traditional technique called Xiang Qi, which involves spraying colored slips onto the plaster mold to create marbled clay slabs. This results in multiple layers of color building up which are joined together to create the 3D form. While this technique is not often used these days, Studio Kae’s innovative approach hopes to bring new attention to its possibilities.

Fabric Formula #1 is a ceramic project that completely changed the traditional slip casting process. By introducing fabric into the mold, Studio Kae achieves a completely unique texture and shape on each ceramic piece. Only half of the mold is treated with the fabric, creating an elegant contrast between the textured facet of the piece and the smooth, traditional ceramic surface of the other facet.

Studio Kae hopes that, in the context of mass production, this technique and its unique results will allow for an equally unique relationship between the product and the consumer.

Interested in unique production techniques being developed by young designers?

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