The Chinese studio emphasizes the practical value of art in design, opposing the tacit reproduction of conventional aesthetics in space architecture.
The philosophy of PIG Design, founded by Li Wenqiang in 2015, is to make cities more beautiful through design. To do this, the team focuses on the playful and artistic, paying special attention to humanistic expressions of the works. That is, focusing on conveying their meaning rather than superficial beauty. Two of their projects particularly reflect this vision:
The first, YA Space, located in Hangzhou, celebrates the rebirth of the Memphis Group, founded by Ettore Sottsass in 1980. This exhibition gallery unveils a loose composition, exaggerating the ultra-graphic aesthetic of the movement. The exterior is made of corrugated stainless-steel sheets, arranged like the steep sides of a cliff. The circular entrance, marked by a large exclamation mark, guides visitors to explore the interior, whose gaze is constantly jostled. The two-story space, in shades of yellow, gray, and black, is composed of geometric shapes, arches, columns, and pyramids, with a masterful staircase at the center. On the second floor, a room hosts a selection of furniture and items for sale, as well as a building block play scene. The second level is used for an exhibition where the surfaces are mobile geometric screens. Ya Space thus takes on the appearance of a “playful art museum that comes to save the city from boredom with anti-rational humor.”
Merging the real and the illusory
The second, Neobio, located in Shanghai, is a response to nature and childhood memories. For this indoor entertainment brand, the studio combines a quality space with creative content for parents and their children. The façade therefore extends the brand’s colors with an earthy yellow. The visual symbol in the shape of a pacifier, and a series of curved doors and windows, stand out against the urban gray, creating a three-dimensional “Solarpunk” sculpture. “Back Mountain” is the theme that runs through the pastel-toned spatial design, where the real and the illusory intertwine. Today, the new era of education is about encouraging children to discover rather than impart knowledge. The inclusive, playful, and interactive spaces form an environment filled with mountain, field, and forest elements, offering endless possibilities for exploration.