04. between the object

There are also plenty of gaps or spaces within things. Widening, truncating, or replacing these gaps with completely different elements can bring about new functions and meanings from the inside. If there are no discernible spaces, then shifting something ever so slightly can create a similar effect. The "layering" and "depth" of these respective elements, brought about by the use of a series of spaces, can also be of great interest to us.

softer than steel | 2014, Desalto, steel

A furniture collection designed for Italy’s Desalto, known for their metal furniture. A section of the bench has flipped up and turned into the backrest. Poles wrap around each other to become a coat stand. We bent a tabletop’s edges to attach onto the frame like cloth draping over the frame’s edges, so that the tabletop can be picked up like a tray. By adding flipped, bent and wrapped details to metal sheets and rods, the ordinarily hard material gains new functionality and a light, flexible feel, as though the metal has become paper or cloth.

float | 2015, Moroso, wood,steel

A seemingly plain stool with a rectangular plywood seating surface and steel pipe legs. 2 of the 4 legs have been cut off from under the seating surface, hence creating a visual effect where the seat looks like it is simply floating in the air. By utilizing the structure of the cantilever that only supports the back legs a cushiony feel has been given, with the intent to provide a varied comfortable seating experience.

top-tea set | 2012, 1% products, ceramic, wood

A teapot and cup set. The thick wooden lid provides good insulation to keep the tea warm, and its pointed centre condenses steam into liquid and directs it back into the teapot, rather dripping down the sides. The lid becomes a top, and can be spun on the tabletop for amusement while drinking tea.

cube | 2010, Arketipo, wood

This rectangular magazine rack appears to stand on one corner. Unlike an ordinary box, which has only one lid, it opens in three directions, and is divided into three complementary spaces inside. The rack stands on an angle, making magazines easy to slide in and out, and providing good support even for thin magazines.

target | 2009, Arketipo, wood

The target bookshelf replaces the usual horizontal shelves with an ordered array of small crosses. The crosses work both as shelves and as bookends, allowing even thin magazines or a small number of books to stand on their own. Since the shelves are not unidirectional, the units can be used standing on any side.

stack-sake set | 2012, 1% products, ceramic

A sake set consisting of pitcher and cups, in the form of stacks of cups. The different sizes correspond to different types of drinks: one cup is a choko small glass, two cups stacked a slightly larger one, and four cups stacked a tumbler. The stack of five cups is actually a pitcher for sake. Because all of the cups have the same shape, they can be stacked together when not in use, and the one-cup choko doubles as a lid for the pitcher. When the pitcher is heated, for drinking warm sake, the cups can be warmed simultaneously, too.

overflow collection | 2012, Lasvit, glass, steel

Glass is formed when a free-flowing liquid hardens in place, creating a unique form. We placed plate glass into a frame with one section missing, and turned the sheet into molten glass by progressively heating it so that the molten glass would run from the missing section. By hardening the glass again at just that moment, the edge responds to surface tension, creating a table like a pool of water. The collection’s twelve tables vary in the amount of glass that overflows the frame and the position of the overflow.

​​roopuppet | 2012, ROOTOTE, cotton

The tote bag brand ROOTOTE is distinguished by the pocket like the pouch of a kangaroo located on the side. Many of the ROOTOTE bags have surface designs, but the side pocket, the brand’s most distinctive feature, is usually the same. Our idea was to extend the pocket out from the bag, and to turn it into a puppet. Most of the time, we put things into tote bags, but the roopuppet pops out of the ROOTOTE ‘s pocket, making this a very unusual tote bag indeed. The roopuppet comes in four versions: a kangaroo, a bear, a human being and a dinosaur.

drop | 2012, Cappellini, steel

The bookshelf in our 2011 ‘dancing squares’ collection, released commercially by Cappellini. The tilted angle of the top shelf provides a variety of options for storing books – they can be opened to display particular pages, for example, draped over the angled top or stacked on a slant. We took away the back of the shelf so that it can be used from either side, expanding the places where it can be used, and offer the bookshelf in three sizes: two, four and five shelves.

variable materials

Throughout history, Japan has faced numerous natural disasters. Each time, its people have stood strong and gone on to rebuild their communities. On 11 March 2011 the Great East Japan earthquake struck the country and has once again reminded us of the importance of disaster and emergency preparedness. Rather than the conventional emergency preparedness kits that all tend to resemble one another, people are now seeking a more versatile solution that is appropriate for a variety of situations.

This called for the development of an emergency preparedness kit that includes the bare minimum necessary for a city-dweller to make it to a place of refuge during an earthquake or other disaster. The result is a whistle to alert others of one’s presence, a radio, raincoat, lantern, drinking water and a plastic case, all packaged inside of a 5cm wide tube that is waterproof and floats. The radio is equipped with manual charging functionality, which can also be used to charge your smartphone, lantern, or other devices via USB. The plastic case can be used to store medicine or anything else the user might deem necessary, and the tube in which the drinking water foil pouch is stored can also be used as a cup. Despite its compact design, the kit offers a rich set of features.

Slimmer and more compact than conventional emergency kits, it’s easy to carry and can also be worn over the shoulder using the included strap. The design makes it easy to keep it near the entrance and ready to go at all times – just leave it in the umbrella stand or hang it from a coat hanger. The outer tubing is available in silver, white, or black, and each tool is available in a selection of 3 different colours.

deep-sea | 2013, Glas Italia, glass

A collection composed of a low table and shelf for glass manufacturer Glas Italia, known for their superb technical manipulation of colour, cut and adhesion for sheet glass. It is possible to colour glass by melting a layer of transparent coloured film onto the surface. We decided to deepen the shade of each successive glass sheet by slightly changing the combination and number of layers for each one. We also progressively narrowed the space between the shelves and combined them with a mirror to further emphasise the gradations. The result was furniture with depth: transparent from any angle and drawing the viewer into their depths, as though the viewer gazes at the surface of the sea. Adding objects to the surfaces only intensifies the difference between the different ‘ocean depths’ of each sheet.

scatter shelf | 2011, Friedman Benda, New York, acrylic

The scatter shelf is composed of 5mm black acrylic shelves in a grid form, stacked in three layers and slightly displaced. The resulting shelving unit is not only structurally strong but creates a visual effect in which objects placed on the shelves appear as though caught in a spider’s web when viewed from the front. When viewed on an angle, the glossy acrylic face creates a series of reflections within the shelves, making the ‘opaque’ acrylic appear to be transparent. The diffused reflections caused by the surfaces’ shine and form also separates and scatters the view behind the shelving unit, creating a completely kaleidoscopic effect.


mug americano / mug latte / mug caramel macchiato | 2014, Starbucks, ceramic

We took Starbucks’ classic white coffee mug and added a graphic to the base that looks like the surface of a coffee drink, so that when the mug is drying or being stored upside down, it looks as though it’s actually full. The mug comes in three varieties – Americano, latte and caramel macchiato – and will be released in Starbucks throughout Japan. A design that represents Starbucks’ worldview of feeling fulfilled, and seeing the world as half-full, never half-empty.

nest shelf | 2015, London Design Festival, carbon fiber, wood

A shelf that from within a second shelf of the same size seemingly grows outward. Vertical sections are made from 3.7 mm thick carbon fiber, while the 3.7 mm thick horizontal sections consist of aramid fiber-made honeycomb material sandwiched between carbon fiber. Both sections are coated with a larch veneer, resulting in a 4.8 mm thick shelving hidden within the 9.6 mm thick outer shelving. The 650 mm width of the shelf’s fully-collapsed state doubles to 1300 mm when the shelf is fully extended outward, allowing the user the flexibility to choose a width appropriate for the space available. Extending the shelf halfway produces a grid shelf-style layout with rows of square shelves.

press lamp | 2012, Lasvit, glass

The glass tubes in this pendant and floor lamp are pressed as though they have been pinched, and the light source wedged into the narrowed space that results. The lack of metal and the soft form created naturally as the glass is compressed are the unique points of the lamp.

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