claesson koivisto rune presents custom-made wood furniture during DESIGNART tokyo

claesson koivisto rune presents custom-made wood furniture during DESIGNART tokyo

during designart tokyo 2019 — the annual, 10-day festival that sees japan’s capital city transform into a museum — claesson koivisto rune has presented a custom-made wood furniture collection for the tokyo craft room. ‘HAND’ is the result of a unique collaboration between the team of swedish architect and designers, and expert japanese carpenter yuji takahashi. ‘during our first meeting, takahashi-san started showing me some samples on his iPad,‘ rune recalls. ‘when we looked at the detailing, I thought to myself — this is unreal. you can’t do this, it’s impossible to make a box or tray in this manner. we wanted to do something that we hadn’t done before and see how much we could challenge takahashi-san. when the audience see this product, we want them to understand how well it has been made.’



as a starting point for the project, the designers gained insight into the scale of the space and its functional requirements by spending a night in the tokyo craft room at hamacho hotel. tokyo craft room was initiated by creative director teruhiro yanagihara as a platform for skilled japanese artisans, and national and international designers to collaborate and innovate using their various crafts. ‘research is something that’s always present in our work,’ rune continues. ‘we’ve been working together for 25 years, but we’re still three very curious individuals who are constantly looking at what’s happening and why. we want to know why some people do the same thing differently.’



the observations made laid the foundations for early discussions between claesson koivisto rune and yuji takahashi about the kind of furniture they could create together. rune and his team’s discussions not only revealed the potential of his joinery skills, but a great sense of enthusiasm for his craft.



the final design of ‘HAND’ challenged takahashi and his team technically. the cross-sections of each of the component parts are made to become progressively thinner towards their outer edges, resulting in an edge thickness of mere millimeters. this thinning begins at the very center of each part — meaning that all the pieces lack any true, flat surfaces and are all slightly convex. even the tabletop’s upper surface has a very subtle camber, a quality not easily observed, but more obviously experienced through touch.



furthermore, the convex surfaces meet along the outer edge of each component, which forms the perimeter from a series of curves. while these design choices presented a considerable challenge for hand tool production, the completed collection of furniture maintains a particular tactility often lost in larger series production. the impact of the hand pieces deepens upon closer inspection of the exceptional detailing by yuji takahashi and his team.



project info: 


title: HAND – a collection of furniture
design: claesson koivisto rune
woodwork: sasimonukagu takahashi
launch event information: tokyo craft room, hamacho hotel
2f 3-20-2 nihonbashi hamacho, chuo-ku, 103-0007 tokyo, japan

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