Modular Design Turns 2D Graph Paper Into A 3D Desk Set


The Grid System by Yin Chang challenges users to configure their own furniture.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 27 june 2014

London-based product designer and Royal College of Art graduate Yin Chang took a familiar two-dimensional grid system often used by graphic and industrial designers as inspiration and designed a modular piece of furniture that consists of interchangeable three-dimensional forms.

Yin Chang’s Grid System is a modular system designed to challenge people’s ideas of what a desk or table should look like or what its functions should be – taking inspiration from the grid system pioneered by design legends like Josef Müller-Brockmann and Wim Crouwel. The grid system is a 2D structure made of intersecting lines that designers use to organize graphic elements like images and text. Ying Chang’s Grid System is based on the same principles in the sense that users can create their own configuration of the furniture.

The Grid System consists of a base metal frame, mesh boxes, and a series of multi-purpose accessories. The base metal frame holds the mesh boxes. The mesh boxes come in three different sizes and are attached to the frame with aluminum rods. Users can create their own configurations with various-sized mesh boxes, and add shelves and accessories as they see fit to create a piece of furniture that meets their requirements.

The users are able to configure the Grid System and design their own work desk, storage, or dining table. They can also design the modular furniture in such a way that it becomes all three at the same by designating spaces for different activities like reading, using a laptop, or eating a meal. The three-dimensional element also allows the user to create shelves and storage space beneath the table top.

On her website, the designer explains that “the project is set to challenge the automatic and habitual reaction to our everyday object’s forms and functions by re-examining aspects of the domestic environment, with a particular focus on the surface.”

The mesh boxes are made of nylon powder-coated steel and the colored shelves are made of folded aluminum sheets. The accessories are available in wood, mirror polished aluminum and concrete.

Yin Chang

Images: Ian Bartlett via Yin Chang


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