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In traditional Taoist philosophy, man and nature are closely related. Yuan Yuan draws on this unification in her furniture. “Nature is the source of all beauties,” she says. “I hope to convey this graceful connection of man and nature through my work.”

Yuan Yuan has been surrounded by architecture and art her whole life—her grandfather and her uncle were architects, her husband is a sculptor, and many of her friends are artists. Yuan Yuan founded her home brand RUYI in 2015. “‘RUYI’ means ‘the same as tomorrow.’ We hope to create a design brand from a unique perspective by establishing the RUYI brand, thus advancing Chinese modern design from the past to the future.”

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Yuan Yuan’s Planet armchair was made in Hebei Province from a foam and leather seat with an orbital wooden ring that serves as a backrest. Photo courtesy of Yuan Yuan Studio

Inspired by the paradoxical notion of consistent movement, Yuan Yuan made the Planet armchair in 2020. She describes how the constant motion of planets and stars inspired this work. “Such a stable and moving structure is very interesting, so I wanted to make a chair that reflects an unstable sense of stability,” she says. “The world exists in the order of movement.”

The chair’s pebble-shaped base is made of sponge and leather, encompassed by a solid oak wood ring that serves as a backrest. The chair’s partial-suspension effect makes it both comfortable as a seat and unstable as a visual.

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Photo courtesy of Yuan Yuan Studio

A version of this article originally appeared in Sixtysix Issue 06 with the headline “Yuan Yuan: Furniture Designer, Beijing.” Subscribe today.