Sharing Sphere

Heli Shi


Sharing Sphere explores the cultural practices of eating and sharing food. Inspired by the traditional archetype of the hotpot, every aspect of the table’s design has been thoughtfully considered. This project examine the importance of preserving traditional cuisine and communal dining practices, while also rethink contemporary issues about the pace of life, emotional communication, and food culture.

This dining table fosters opportunities for family reunions, enhances communication, and facilitates the exchange of knowledge within the family. When using Sharing Sphere, users can enjoy an impressive, warm, and cozy dining experience during the precious, limited meal times.


The Sharing Sphere is a combination of round and square shapes, round on top and square at the bottom. The round shape, which dominates, symbolizes harmony and happiness, while the square represents stability and a peaceful, far-reaching vision. These are the beautiful meanings attributed to “round” and “square” in traditional Chinese culture.

When designing the Sharing Sphere, I hoped that this dining table would perfectly embody the pursuit of “reunion, harmony, and beauty” in Chinese culture, thus achieving a unique significance.

Drew inspiration from ancient Chinese bronze vessels


Sharing Sphere consists of seven parts:

  • Light
  • Ring board
  • Tabletop
  • Table legs
  • The circular beam (connects the table legs to the tabletop)
  • Rectangular beam (embedded in the table legs serves to secure the legs and support the storage compartment)

Table – Exploded View

Material & Jointing

Mainly Cherry

Jointing Tabletop – Lamello Biscuit


As the Hotpot is a traditional Chinese dish that symbolizes reunion, the Sharing Sphere includes a storage compartment for the hotplate. For safety and convenience, the pots are designed to sit slightly above the tabletop.

This feature minimizes the risk of the pot being accidentally knocked over and allows users to have a better view of the food in the pot.

Users can place/ remove the hotplate by removing the ring board and the light. The storage compartment can also be used to store other items for the families which do not eat hot pots regularly.

Tuan Hua Light was designed inspired by the Tuan Hua pattern found on the reference bronze vessel, symbolizes unity and reunion.

The surface of the light is crafted from plywood with a walnut veneer. The darker hue of the walnut provides a stark contrast to the lighter cherry, highlighting the presence of the light, akin to a fireplace. The light shade, made of a layer of veneer, allows the orange-red glow of the light to filter through, enhancing the resemblance to the warm, inviting image of a fireplace.

For functionality, user can place Tuan Hua Light on the tabletop to fill the hole in order to increase the tabletop area in their daily use. When they not eating hotpot, the light can also create a cozy atmosphere for the home like candlelight in place of a real flame.

Sharing sphere can also be the game table by replacing chess board on the ring.

When users do not play the chess they can put them in the storage compartment.

Heli Shi

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Heli Shi is an industrial designer and future architect who cares deeply about user-centered design. She focuses on creating designs that not only enhance the user experience aesthetically and functionally but also emphasize cultural practices in her work.

As she transitions into architecture, her goal is to blend her industrial design expertise with architectural principles to create energized and culturally enriched spaces that mitigate the problems brought about by improper spatial factors, in order to meet people’s various needs.


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