When Hangzhou-based designer Mario Tsai was growing up, he’d take apart the electronics in the house. Luckily for him, his parents were forgiving. He’d also collect old, tossed-out electric components and scrap pieces of wood to make new things. “I made many things that adults would consider strange,” he says, but that early freedom to explore has proven foundational for his design practice. A research-centered approach is the basis of Mario Tsai Studio, founded in the summer of 2014, which produces elegant, contemporary furniture and conceptual lighting design.