Creativity × Furniture × Jewellery

Have you ever imagined that a chair could be converted into a coffee table, or even a lamp? Mr Andrea Ingrassia, a lecturer from the Academy of Visual Arts at HKBU, has invented an interlocking design, which allows the user to mix and match different components to create unique art pieces.


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Mr Andrea Ingrassia


The interlocking mechanism enables users to fit different parts together using the slots in the pieces. Assembly and disassembly is easy and does not require the use of screws, glue or tools.


Owners can customise their own unique products by combining different parts. Mr Ingrassia, who has years of toy design experience, said the interlocking mechanism originates from a toy design of his. Initially, his goal was to create a construction toy that connects a number of table tennis balls. He later found that the interlocking mechanism could be scaled up according to needs, revealing great potential for application in a variety of products for daily use. Consequently, he designed two collections based on the interlocking mechanism—OH Furniture Collection and OHO Jewellery Collection.


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The interlocking mechanism


Finding fame in Geneva

The OH Furniture Collection created by Mr Ingrassia deviates from conventional furniture design. Each product is not in a fixed form, but composed of parts that can be freely assembled into different furniture pieces. For example, by replacing some of the parts, a chair can be converted into a coffee table or even a lamp. The inherent flexibility and portability of this design makes it an ingenious, modern solution to interior space needs. Assembled without screws or nails, the OH Furniture Collection takes a minimalist form, a style Mr Ingrassia advocates, and has no excess decoration, underscoring its understated elegance.


Also following this design concept is the OHO Jewellery Collection. The ring, necklace and earrings in this classic, timeless collection consist of beautiful gemstones and sterling silver connected using the same interlocking mechanism. The jewellery pieces can be easily modified and adjusted to fit the mood or needs of the occasion, giving wearers the versatility to transform their look from casual to sophisticated, anytime, anywhere.


With funding from the Matching Proof-of-Concept Fund of the HKBU Knowledge Transfer Office, the OH Furniture × OHO Jewellery Collection were exhibited at the 47th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva. Widely praised, the OH Furniture Collection won a gold medal, while the OHO Jewellery Collection was awarded a silver medal. OH Furniture × OHO Jewellery Collection are one of the very few non-scientific and non-medical entries to win awards at the Exhibition. In light of this, the University Grants Committee was delighted by the success of OH furniture × OHO Jewellery Collection and congratulated Mr Ingrassia for this design breakthrough.


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OH Furniture × OHO Jewellery Collection was awarded a gold medal and a silver medal in the 47th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva


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The OH Furniture is easy to assemble and disassemble


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The OHO Jewellery allows modification and adjustment to fit the mood or needs of the occasion 


Bringing style home

Mr Ingrassia's interlocking design has been granted patents in the United States, mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. He is currently busy bringing the OH Furniture Collection to market. Mr Ingrassia revealed that he has already concluded negotiations with a furniture company, which will be responsible for the production of the items and retail sales channels. At the initial stage, he plans to release the table and chairs. According to Mr Ingrassia, the legs of the chairs will be made of ash wood, which is tough and durable, while the cushion will be made of polyurethane. Highly compressible, the choice of polyurethane would keep packaging of the flat pack furniture to a minimum for easy and cheap transport and storage.


Mr Ingrassia believes the biggest challenge of the production will be making the moulds. 3D printing is only suitable for making lightweight, smaller prototypes. For mass production of the chair in actual size, purpose-built aluminium moulds are required, but production is complicated and very costly. He is in the process of applying for funding from CreateHK, the government agency dedicated to promoting the development of creative industries in Hong Kong. In order to facilitate the promotion of the collection, Mr Ingrassia is planning to release a website and participate in major exhibitions at home and abroad, including the renowned Salone del Mobile Milano. Envisioning the future, Mr Ingrassia plans to introduce a more environmentally sustainable version of the chair. He is considering the possibility of making the chair entirely from bamboo, which grows faster than trees, but he is still looking for the best bamboo material that would fit his requirements in terms of size and texture. Once he finds a suitable material, he will start the next stage of production to provide more artistic and functional, yet affordable home goods for the public.