Design Daily: A Lotus Leaf Tray by Chang Yung Ho


Pinpoint precision and perfect balance, whether placed facing up or facing down—”A Lotus Leaf” by Chinese architect Chang Yung Ho demonstrates how good design creates a form that is both beautiful and versatile. 

Inverted, new facets reveal themselves for service in the perfectly-balanced A Lotus Leaf Centerpiece.

A lotus leaf was created as part of the (Un)Forbidden City project that Alessi curated in 2011, in which seven well-known Chinese architects tackled industrial design. Each individual reimagined a tray shape, and Chang Yung Ho (a UC Berkeley alum) stunned with his detailed lotus design that was unveiled during Beijing Design Week. New for 2013, Alessi is releasing the tray in colored steel finishes of milky white and intense black. 

I got a preview of this gorgeous piece at the Alessi store (424 Sutter St. in San Francisco), and couldn’t believe the level of detailing rendered in steel. Ho acheived it by picking an actual lotus leaf from the Old Summer Palace in Beijing and drying it for six months. Three-dimensional scanning then picked up every vein and crinkle from the dried leaf, translating them to a mold used to cast the steel version. The original metal finish is the best-selling tray from the design project. I’d expect these new versions to prove just as popular. 

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