Andrea Ponti's Kanban side table embodies the cultural contrasts of Hong Kong in a product. This industrial design piece purposely plays with formal expectations of shape, and turns them on itself. Weighted by a concrete and dense base, the table-top is comprised of charcoal coloured steel, which floats above its solid foundation. The idea that a product can capture the spirit and physical shaping of a city is interesting, but the diversity and the combined cosmopolitan metropolis at the crossroads between East and West has been the designer’s muse, in this case.
Based in Hong Kong, Ponti Design Studio covers design across branding, product, packaging and graphics. Their aesthetic philosophies are grounded on minimalism, which allows them to focus on the real essence of the object. Founded by Italian designer Andrea Ponti in 2012, there is a strong lineage between his European roots and his exploration of design and philosophies when he worked in Japan. The shape of Kanban was inspired by the large neon signs that light up the busy streets of Kowloon: the signs jut out into the streets while hanging from a single slender bar. Kanban beautifully shows this fusion of cultural backgrounds, and the result of reinterpreting a place through fresh and minimal eyes.
Photography courtesy Andrea Ponti.