MAD’s Ma Yansong Takes Us to the Future

Thoughts of the future, thoughts of home and the thrill of interplanetary discoveries fuel an incredible MAD Martian collection. Gallery ALL presents the MAD Martian Collection at DesignMiami/2017. Designed by Ma Yansong, founder and principal partner of MAD Architects, the contoured forms of the furniture pieces recall elements of natural, albeit foreign, extra-terrestrial environments. The collection comprises seven pieces and is finished in a fluid, highly reflective metallic skin that suggests the inherent ability of the designs to respond to their changing environments, while expressing a nostalgia for utility and human culture. They represent an exercise in interpreting MAD’s Shanshui City philosophy in the context of a science fiction narrative. Here we talk to designer Ma Yong and discover more.

Tell us about the Mad Martian Collection.

The MAD Martian collection comprises of five pieces: a dining table, a chaise lounge chair, a candelabra, floor-to-ceiling suspension lights, and a console table. The collection employs the design language of science fiction, established during the mid 20th Century. Traces of the 1960s Space Race aesthetic are visible in the suspension lights, whereas the candelabras and the fish tank take their cue in part from later masterworks such as Alien and Blade Runner.

The collection constitutes an ongoing series of in-house commissions by Los Angeles and Beijing-based Gallery All, whose focus is increasingly turning towards emerging and established Chinese designers.

How long did it take you to produce the Mad Collection?

MAD Martian is the result of two years of research and design development. It all started with a conversation between myself and Yu Wang, co-founder and Director of Gallery ALL about the theme of MAD Martian, and what a furniture collection of Chinese interplanetary pioneers would look like.

Take us through the process.

On agreeing to produce the collection, the focus quickly turned to researching the history and current material language of science fiction movies, with specific reference to colonization of other planets and the ‘Space Odyssey,’ generally. The result is a fantastic, otherworldly collection.

The MAD Martian Collection is part of an ongoing series of in-house commissions by curation-led Los Angeles and Beijing-based Gallery ALL. It is the first collection of furniture designed by Ma Yansong.

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