Michael, Thank you for the summary. Look forward to seeing where this has gone.
Your graphic presentation is looking nice – the boards are well organized and readable. The prototype presentation at the midterm review was not as slick as the style of your furniture will require. Lose the clay figure – it distracts from and covers the detail of the model. A paper or acrylic figure cut-out next to the chair will provide scale without distracting from the design.
Your argument: I question whether you should be responding to what you have found Chinese consumers prefer – I think the essence of your argument stems from their (perhaps latent) desire to connect to the past. The great potential of this project is not coming up with a seemingly marketable chair, but rather proposing a design action that is a relevant and intellectual response to Chinese design and cultural identity.