What do samurai warriors and tables have in common? Not much, I imagine… but for Mingdu Design, the two shared a potential visual overlap, resulting in the Paper Warrior series of side tables and coffee tables.
The samurai pioneered a new type of armor, which deceptively resembled paper, but was, on the contrary, quite tough and tough. This “paper armor” was wrapped around their torso, creating a kind of strong shield that could deflect attacks while being both flexible and lightweight for ease of movement and increased agility. It’s one of the many reasons that puts samurai in a class of their own, and the Paper Warrior series pays homage to their unique and functional fashion!
Designer: Mingdu Design
The tables, designed in longer pill-shaped variants as well as large round side tables, come with distinct red fabric wrapped around their bodies. Rather than using the exact same type of paper as Samurais (which was traditionally made by skilled Japanese artisans), Mingdu Design opted for a similar but more readily available Tyvek paper from DuPont. Tyvek provides the right balance of strength while shining, just like a samurai’s paper armor would. It wraps around the table like armour, and is also cinched around the waist!
The underlying structure of the table is wrought iron welded together. The iron has a distinct criss-cross pattern around the middle, which the Tyvek coating conveniently exposes. It’s a nod to the lace pattern found on samurai armor!
“This series incorporates origami and weaving techniques and clothing design techniques for creation,” say designers Liang Chen and Yang Xueying of Mingdu Design. “We hope that in this semi-industrial and semi-artisanal process, we can blur the lines between design and art, and highlight armor for our samurai.”