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Longteng Gui

"Flying Dragon" Cabinet

Name inspired by
the Chinese saying:

Dragon

Fly 

Tiger 

Leap

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The saying encapsulates the spirit and energy of auspicious animals in Chinese culture.

I grew up surrounded by artistic artifacts of my heritage. My dad has always been an avid collector of Chinese antiques. I remember being fascinated by the shapes and sizes, the patterns in the ornamentation, and the intricate layouts and layers of each antique. In the making of this foam-core cabinet, I drew inspiration from the curiosity I had as a kid for the ancient chests and furniture that filled our basement and I aimed to translate that wonder into a piece of my own.

 

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Initial Sketches

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It wasn't until the last sketch that I decided to incorporate aspects of culture and heritage into the project. I made a strong diversion from my initial designs because I stopped looking at existing cabinets for ideas and began drawing inspiration from architecture, my childhood memories, and identity.

Making

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To begin, I built the general body of the cabinet and worked my way in with the details and layers. All the edges were beveled at a 45 degree angle so no foam or glue showed from the outside when two pieces were joined together.

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Then I built the top of the cabinet and the front doors. The sloping top was difficult to measure out so I cut a variety of pieces with different angles until I found the right one. Finally, the top lids and the finishing details were installed.

Section Layout

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Top - Holds large sketchpads, books, iPad mini, and other large flat items
1 - Divided storage for pens, pencils, 6 inch rulers, and other small items
2 - Slot for notebooks, sketchbooks, paper, and other thin items
3 - Larger slot for books, rolls of tape, small binders, and other thick items
Bottom - Hidden drawer for valuables such as a diary, wallet, or phone

Finished Product

The bold stance of the Longteng Gui captures the essence of the Chinese saying, "Dragon fly, Tiger leap."

Details such as the arches at the base, ornamental shapes, red banner latch, and overall form draw connections to Chinese antiques, architecture, and culture.

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Turning the red latch opens the front doors to the inside of the main compartment. Sections 1, 2, and 3 are revealed. 

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A close-up of the top section shows a large compartment divided with shallow rectangle cut-outs for notebook organization. Longer rulers, large sketchpads, or iPads can be stored here as well. The small box on the left can hold paperclips, pins, and other loose small items.

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A special feature of the cabinet is the hidden drawer tucked flush under the main compartment which is only visible from below. It's only accessible by a discreet finger handle which you push down to open the drawer. You can safely store valuable personal items such as a phone, wallet, or diary.

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Dragon

Fly 

Tiger 

Leap

This was a project assigned in my Sophomore year fall semester Industrial Design Design Principles 1 class taught by Professor Lusine Corsini.