Sophie Lovell, Dieter Rams: As Little Design as Possible, Phaidon Press Inc., 2011
By omitting the unnecessary, says Rams, the essential factors come to the fore: the products become ‘quiet, pleasing, comprehensible and long-lasting’. However to arrive at products with this quality the designer has to travel a very long and difficult path filled with question, trials, discussion and experimentation. The product may be simple but the path taken to create it is highly complex for the ‘true’ product designer.
Marcus Flacks, Classical Chinese Furniture, The Vendome Press, 2012
The preaching daises of the Buddhist monks and the folding stools of the western nomads had a slow, but irrevocable effect on the Chinese… they ushered in raised level seating, eventually leading China to be the only culture in Asia to abandon floor seating.
Sarah Handler, Ming Furniture in the Light of Chinese Architecture, Ten Speed Press, 2005
Most large beds have a canopy, which approximates the walls and roof of a house. Thus, a house within a house. The difference between them is not only size, but also function. The actual house has a floor to stand on. The house within the house was for sitting, sleeping, or making love and conceiving sons. Chinese beds are used for seating during the day and for sleeping at night.
Ty & Kiyoko Heineken, Tansu: traditional Japanese cabinetry, Weatherhill 2004
Comparisons cannot easily be made with the great decorative furniture traditions of Europe and China. Japanese chests are not stationary furniture. Rather, they can accurately be described as mobile cabinetry, used by the individual to keep personal possessions and clothing outside of the season for which they were intended, by the merchant to store important records and valuables, and by the family for ready access to objects of daily use. Tansu were kept in storehouses adjacent to homes and businesses, in storage rooms, on the raised area of a shop, and on some coastal ships for the owner or captain. With only a few exceptions, they were not visible in the house except at certain times and in specific situations. It is perhaps due to the fact that tansu have been judged according to the same criteria as conventional furniture that they have not until recently begun to gain international recognition.
The literal meaning of tansu(箪笥) is a box or a food container made of bamboo.
Christian Becksvoort, The Shaker Legacy : perspectives on an enduring furniture style, The Taunton Press 1998
When we study the furniture, we can’t point to any single design element or construction technique that is exclusively Shaker. The woodworkers didn’t do anything different than their brethren in the outside world, but they often did it better. Spiritually committed to both the process and the product of furniture making, they practiced scrupulous craftsmanship and built pieces that combined grace and function. Design, materials, and construction came together in a spirit that is unquestionably “Shaker.”