Tulip Pyramid

Jing He on Copy and Identity

September 2016
The tulip pyramid, a vase that serves mainly as a decorative showpiece, is generally known as a 17th-century Dutch invention. But actually “its form, its motifs and its material all imitate a Chinese porcelain pagoda”, says Jing He, to whom this finding was the starting point for a design research on the topic of copy and identity. Last June she graduated with two contemporary tulip pyramids and a comprehensive written thesis from the Masters department Contextual Design at Design Academy Eindhoven. And just recently, on 6th of September, Tulip Pyramid – A Project of Copy and Identity was honoured with the Gijs Bakker Award 2016.
The tulip pyramids that emerged from Jing’s research materialise her critical exploration of 'creativity in copying' and the question where identity comes from. For the first one, Jing invited five young Chinese designers to reflect on the culture and the history of imitation and innovation, and to each create two layers of the pyramid. For the second pyramid she mixed up elements of famous Dutch designers’ iconic works with fragments of her own former works and thus created a self-portrait.
Jing’s project will be presented to the public at the Design Academy Eindhoven’s Graduation Show during Dutch Design Week in October.