03. between boundaries

There is a multitude of interactions in everyday life: between people and things, things and spaces, the inner and the outer, the self and the other. Blurring, erasing, or slightly shifting the lines between these boundaries can challenge and loosen our preconceptions, giving rise to new spaces.

pair | 2015, Glas Italia, glass

A collection designed with an image of two furniture made of frosted smoke glass gradually overlapping one another. Transparent glass was used for the overlapping sections. The smoke glass and the transparent glass are adhered only using their edges, demonstrating Glas Italia’s outstanding technical manipulation of cut and adhesion. The collection encompasses items such as chairs, tables and shelves.

thin black lines | 2010/2011, Saatchi Gallery, London, steel

A solo exhibition by Phillips de Pury & Company at the Saatchi Gallery in London from the London Design Festival in September to the Frieze Art Fair in October. ‘Outlines’ were the theme of the exhibition. Slight black lines like the traces of sketches drawn in the air made transparent surfaces and volumes appear, which we assigned practical functions. The outlines remained after simplifying paintings of plants and animals. They are condensed expressions of meaning, similar to Japanese calligraphy. The designs gently break the relationship of before and behind, and traverse at times the space between two and three dimensions. Multi-faceted and constantly morphing, they move alternately between the becoming and collapse of form.

corners | 2015, Moroso, steel

Placing furniture in the corner of the room will sometimes give off a calming effect. Likewise there is an area of a room that just feels right when you place a book, a mobile phone, a tablet, a key or a clock. A piece of furniture that looks as though it is an extract of such a “corner of space”. Maybe a space surrounded by three sides brings reassurance compared to a flat surface table or tray. The three-sided cube box is designed so that it can be joined in various directions, and the box can be configured to suit your preferences and needs. The dainty size ensures a presence that makes you want to place several of them casually next to a bed or a sofa and line them up.

phantom-waves | 2015, nendo 3/3, Tokyo, polarizing film, acrylic

Polarizing film blocks light when layered in parallel, and allows light to pass through when layered at a 90° angle. When sliced on the curve, it produces the illusion of a wavy surface. The phantom-waves vase uses polarizing film to create the visual illusion of three-dimensional boundaries within the vase. Branches and flowers placed in the vase appear to emerge through rippling water surfaces. Polarizing film creates rainbow patterns when it comes in contact with an adhesive. It also traps fine air bubbles between the film and the acrylic surface. To minimize these effects, we kept contact points to the bare minimum, and sandwiched the film between two layers of acrylic.

notescape | 2009, Moleskine, paper, cardboard

Our contribution to Moleskine’s Detour exhibition, in which the venerable Italian firm (200+ years and counting) gave fifty designers and artists free range to create a piece for the show. Regardless of the product, we begin each project with one sketch, then move immediately into three-dimensional prototyping and testing. We can go back to that first sketch if we start to get lost along the way, giving us a built-in corrective mechanism. The longer we spend on the project, the more we go back and forth. Sometimes, the sketch starts to feel like a comfortable ‘place’ to which we can return, or from which we can work. By cutting the pages of the sketchbook to create a three-dimensional landscape, we wanted to show the way that sketches function in the space between two and three dimensions, and to present the sketchbook itself as a ‘place’.

vase-vase | 2006, 1% products, steel, ceramic

Two bud vases like a mirror reflection and its frame. Put a flower in only one vase, or put a different kind of flower in each one to create a tiny rip in the otherwise seamless environment of everyday life.

single-stroke | 2014, by | n, gold

A jewelry collection made of ten carat gold chains hand-brazed in places to harden the chain, so that the hardened parts appear to trace out specific patterns.  The collection consists of seven different necklaces and five sets of earrings, each available in both white and yellow gold. The necklaces and earrings seem to have been drawn by hand, in a single stroke, giving rise to the collection’s name.

border table | 2015, nendo 3/3, Tokyo, steel

A collection that was created for the solo exhibition held at the “EYE OF GYRE” a gallery in Omotesando during Tokyo Designers Week 2015. Since it is difficult to grasp beforehand the status of furniture being used when designing furniture for mass production, the designs inevitably tend to become one of an “average specification” that can respond to various scenarios. What’s more, the space will become evened out by such furniture filling the space. Thereupon, we expected a new relationship to develop between space and furniture by conceiving the design of the furniture from a specific space. 

By walking around the gallery we went through a special design process of being inspired by elements that are normally “troublesome”, such as the corner of the room or protruding columns. In the process, we took turns in verifying how the furniture was balanced as it was placed within the space, as well as the proportion of the furniture itself. This resulted in the creation of mysterious tables that consisted of a 5mm square metal rod with a small tabletop measuring a radius of 100mm attached to it. The design utilizes the element of space as a part of its structure by “parasitizing” on to the corners or edges of the walls, the edge of the floor and exhibition stands.

in the shade | 2016, Design Museum Holon, caesarstone, glass

A collection created for the large-scale retrospective exhibition “the space in between” held at the Design Museum Holon in Israel. When we observe the landscape of Israel we notice that the powerful shaft of “sunlight” and the “shadow” that it creates generates several overlapping boundary surfaces. To convey these characteristics, a screen was formed by combining sheet glass coloured by Glas Italia and a pedestal by Caesarstone, a company with headquarters in Israel.

The pedestal was positioned to look as though it penetrates the glass surface which made it appear like a shade falling on the pedestal. If you look from one side, you feel you are “outdoors” and what is there behind the screen is “indoors”. The effect of “the space in between” was achieved by this separation of inside and outside using the boundary surface of light and shadow.

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