Although Japan boasts of many outstanding traditional craftworks, the majority of these craftworks are endangered. One of them is the paper lantern called “Chouchin”. An effective means to help these lanterns to survive into the future is by utilize them. Here, we designed lighting equipment for the Gifu Chouchins famously known to have a history of about 500 years ago.
For many years an aesthetic called “Innei Raisan” (In Praise of Shadows) had existed in Japan. Nevertheless, we often see light spreading across uniformly at every corner to overcome darkness. In such an environment, it is difficult for Japanese to maintain a keen sensitivity to beauty, which has continuously been passed down from generations to generations.
Strangely enough, the power saving deployed after 3.11 (the Great East Japan Earthquake) reminded the Japanese people of the spirit of “Innei Raisan” (In Praise of Shadows). We now know that the humble and gentle charm of light we rediscovered when saving power is enough for us. In that regard, we designed Chouchin Lamp as we felt it was necessary for light to reflect Japan in such a situation.
In Japan, the idea that worldly things do not last long is now to taking roots. Japan has come to see beauty out of the fragility of temporary things. We incorporated this specific idea into our design and hope that Chouchin Lamp will introduce the beauty of tradition into your living space and bring back the light reflects Japan.
A small, iconic fixture inspired by the classical silhouette of a grain silo. This shape was refined during the design phase to finally become SILO — a minimalistic pendant with a distinct industrial character. SILO, with its colour range of white, black, yellow and green, can both step forward in a room and become a dynamic element or step back and blend into its surroundings.
Silo Pendant Lamp, by Note Design Studio, for Zero
The Woods is the second collaboration between the Norwegian design studios StokkeAustad and Andreas Engesvik, Oslo. The inspiration was found in the forests and the lights of the North. A tree changing colours and transparency through the seasons is a fascinating process which was captured in this glass object.
Our ambition was to work sculpturally — without any specific function other than the purely decorative. A renewed interest in the field of craftsmanship, tradition and new categories – has brought us into an area and expressions that we wanted to explore further. Thus, reducing the gap between industrial design and what we know as arts and crafts.
The unique, free standing glass sculpture The Woods, is a made out of hand blown glass. Each sculpture consists of seven trees — joined in two separate sections.
The Woods, by StokkeAustad and Andreas Engesvik
Juno can be construed as symbolic of a classic farmhouse chair. To create it, the designer implemented traditional artisanship techniques in combination with a variety of modern elements. In doing so, he succeeded in reinterpreting the archetypal wooden chair entirely, while still staying true to its origins. The resulting piece is an impressive interpretation, but offers a great deal more comfort. The seat is made of a flexible, moulded wood shell that yields when it is leaned upon. Overall, Juno conveys a less rustic impression, and considerably more femininity. Juno is a sturdy yet elegant chair that inspires curiosity and has an almost sculptural appeal.
On the inside, it’s a bar, on the outside it’s mini.
The story behind the table is the celebration of traditional wood turning. The sweet bit: Mint hides and integrates a small mini-bar that allows you to store a nice bottle of wine or other delicious beverages and glasses, which are placed on a separate tray inside. The design provides an inserted intermediate bottom for the glasses and black chrome slide-open lid on the top of the side table Mint.
Eclipse is a clock where the face transforms as time changes. The hands mark a visual rhythm, an optical illusion made from the black circles which overlap and move. The time is always visible whilst the clock is transforming.
Eclipse Clock, by Constance Guisset, for Petite Friture
Harry Allen has designed the Reality series of products whose forms are “sampled” from existing sources. Using a technique that involves casting polyester resin in highly detailed silicone, Allen has moulded a pig with great precision (no animals were harmed in the making of this product, 5% of the proceeds from the sale of the Bank in the Form of a Pig are donated to The Humane Society “Our pig lost its life from natural causes and we are hoping that his likeness will live on to help prevent cruelty to animals everywhere”).
Part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Available in white, black, hot pink and metallic finishes of chrome, gold and a limited edition copper.
In 1998 Finland issued a design-themed stamp set which featured some of the most iconic works of local design history: besides product and textile designs by Alvar Aalto, Kaj Franck, Bertel Gardberg, Timo Sarpaneva and Annika Rimala, furniture design was represented by one chair — Yrjö Kukkapuro’s Karuselli.
The exhibition in the Museum of Estonian Architecture gives an overview of the interior architect and furniture designer Yrjö Kukkapuro’s artistic production which spans over 50 years. Starting with a student work from 1957 and concluding with a prototype specially designed and manufactured for the Tallinn exhibition, Kukkapuro’s long career is filled with independent experiments in the field but also includes positions as the chief designer of Haimi, Lepokaiusto and Avarte. Kukkapuro’s first successful collection Moderno was created in 1958-1960 and is still in production.
Kukkapuro’s oeuvre is like an X-ray of the design history of the second half of the 20th century. Pop-art influenced colourful plastic chairs, Karuselli, Saturnus or Chair No. 419 manufactured in the 1960s from fibreglass and ABS plastic using experimental methods are contemporary benchmarks carried by utoplan aspirations. The minimalist turn in 1970s abandoned artificial materials, new favourite was birch plywood. Remmi and Pressu models date from that period but at the same time Kukkapuro started decades’ long experiment to create ergonomic office chairs. Piaano, Fysio, Sirkus or Funktus are series which thoroughly redefined the understanding about typical office furniture. in the 1980s the wave of Postmodernism brought back colour, patterns and décor to Kukkapuro’s chairs. The 1990s are characterized by the abstract patterns printed on simple plywood form from
the “tattooed” chairs series and in the 2000s the explorations in materials continue. New favourite is bamboo from which there is a series specially made for Chinese market.
Some of the earlier chairs of the still tenaciousiy active Yrjö Kukkapuro have become design classics which are sought-after in online auctions and vintage furniture stores, at the same time being exhibited in renowned design museums from London to New York. The exhibits, prototypes as well as production models, of the Tallinn exhibition are mainly from Kukkapuro’s personal collection which he has gathered in his atelier over the years.
Yrjö Kukkapuro Furniture, Jan 11 – Feb 10, 2013, at the Museum of Estonian Architecture, Tallinn, Estonia
With its precisely orchestrated flowing lines, thickening and tapering to form a pleasing rhythm, the chair is a signature expression of contemporary design. At the same time, the choice of materials and their treatment recalls the work of the great Brazilian design masters of the 1960s and 70s. While offering all the comfort of a capacious rocking chair, the piece’s fine lines and the way the armrests and runners taper towards the middle make an airy and elegant impression from any angle. The cord seat and backrest lend the chair a special lightness and transparency, unfolding a fascinating graphic play of lines especially when in motion. The version in dark stained oak with black cord attests the most strikingly to the origin of its designer. In pale oak with hemp-coloured cord, the chair looks almost like a Scandinavian furniture classic. With fabric or leather upholstery, it takes on the feel of an elegant club chair. In every version, though, it oscillates effortlessly between past and present, stability and elegance.
Euvira Rocking Armchair, by Jader Almeida, for ClassiCon