While it is said that oil and water don’t mix, Singapore native Hunn Wai, a recent graduate of the IM Masters programme at the Design Academy Eindhoven in The Netherlands, could probably make the two work in concert with one another. Exhibiting a design philosophy that revolves around accentuating the “processes and results of collision combinations and fusions of materials, meanings and forms,” Wai has shown his ability to turn two opposing components into a cohesive tour de force of creativity. His graduation pieces, Tre Di Una and Wood X Plastic Shelf are shining examples of this.
Tre Di Una doesn’t resemble your normal set of wooden chairs as much as it does a set piece from a Tim Burton film. Wai turns the generic wood chair on its ear by combining it with the characteristics of plastic clay to break down an iconic structure and transform it into something utterly unique.
The components of Wood X Plastic Shelf may appear to be warring factions, with “sheets of smoke-coloured acrylic impaled by beech poles to construct a shelf.” But Wai actually relies on their confrontational nature and engineers a certain simplicity with his “meticulous technique of programming the components to fit” with one another, and creates quite the lovely shelving unit. IKEA, eat your heart out.