Interview with designer Kenny Kinugasa-Tsui (KK), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Curly Table.

For High-Resolution Images & More Info Visit:

Interview with Kenny Kinugasa-Tsui at Wednesday 16th of April 2014: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
KK : The sculptural centrepiece draws inspiration from traditional Chinese garden theories. Carefully sculpted forms appear to look organic and natural, yet they are innate with precise functions. Placing such sophisticatedly sculpted furniture in the centre of an environment serves more than just an eye candy, but increasing one’s intuition and interaction with the space. The main idea was for the table to appear to be non-purposeful, thus allowing its large table top surface to be used creatively – its up to the user’s improvisation, one may use it for work, dinning, playing games, exhibits display and many other possibilities.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
KK : This design is part of a wider agenda of the object design research of the company, with clear research objectives of investigating the spatial effects on the social relationships caused by a furniture installation in a certain environment. It also calls for a break down of strict traditions between user and object relationships, through the use of simple and subtle changes to the form of furniture.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
KK : We hope to prototype it and realise it in our up coming interior design projects.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
KK : The concept works started in January 2014 in Hong Kong and ended in March 2014.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
KK : This project was designed while working on a large F&B project. It is a concept for a large dinning table to be staged as a central piece in an interior space. The shape is full of playful wiggly curves, which dramatically departs from traditional formal symmetrical tables. It celebrates playfulness and increases social dynamics.

DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
KK : This project is at concept stage and has not been prototyped or constructed. The concept works started in January 2014 in Hong Kong and ended in March 2014. The project will be exhibited and published in Hong Kong China.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
KK : This conceptual project is part of a wider research agenda of furniture installation works of the company, with clear research objectives of investigating a.) the spatial effects on social relationships caused by a furniture installation in a fixed setting, b.) subverting the strict traditions of user and object relationships with simple and subtle changes to the form of a furniture.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
KK : The curves appear to be random at first sight, however each curve have been carefully designed to encourage a variety of seating positions; from small clusters of a few people, to one large party for eighteen people. Users are encouraged to arrange their own chairs around a part of the table for a small party, while another party can simultaneously use the table. The shared table surface encourage conversations between users and also to strangers, because the playful curves encourages a sense of informality, allowing users to feel relaxed, open minded and connected. For large parties, eighteen people can sit around the whole table for a full extravagant event.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
KK : This designed was entitled ‘Curly’, because it breaks free from a traditional dining tables, but rather has an undulating appearance, that allows for unconventional seating arrangements, thus challenging typical social behaviors.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
KK : The table shape was digitally designed using CAD and 3D modeling softwares, where each curve is determined as a result of various users seating arrangements simulations. The curvy tabletop would be fabricated in marble by CNC laser-cut techniques. Strengthened steel table legs are carefully designed to support the body.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
KK : Whilst having a monolithic aspect, with its form and the use of white marble table top, the table actually appears to be floating, supported by 2 reinforce steel legs. The design aims to challenge our notion of gravity, and lightness.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
KK : This project was design by Bean Buro, by lead designers Lorene Faure & Kenny Kinugasa-Tsui.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
KK : Technology plays a great part in this particular design. 3D modelling and doing small prototypes (with the use of CAD/CAM, 3D printing technologies) allows for a greater control over the geometries, and the overall outcome.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
KK : This design is influenced by Bean Buro’s on-going research on atypical furniture typologies, and the social behaviour that result.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
KK : The main design challenge in the project is to ensure the curves of the dinning table form do not compromise user ergonomics, but to stage potential social effects and encourage conversations. It also challenges to subvert the traditional formal dinning table and break down social boundaries. The technical challenge would be to test the stability of the sculptural table and ensure the table legs are as delicate as possible to allow for the piece to ‘float’.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
KK : We believed we had some fresh ideas: ‘Curly’ explores a new dining typology. Whist its playful edges draws some diners together, creating more private pockets of conversation.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
KK : We also learnt that when a design can balance function with aesthetics, the design can become unique.