‘NARA’ chair 83.5 cm x 43.5 cm x 49.5 cm x 53 cm image © designboom

the initial concept for the ‘NARA’ collection by japanese designer shin azumi was to create minimal structure while providing a maximum level of comfort. in this series created for danish furniture manufacturer fredericia, azumi wanted to express the sculptural beauty of solid timber and create comfortable furniture from a simple wooden structure. thus, the ‘NARA’ series pays homage to traditional scandinavian design while at the same time creating a new aesthetic language of its own. the word ‘NARA’ is taken from the japanese historic capital city which is famous for its free roaming, sacred deers.

when designing the ‘NARA’ chair, azumi first defined the top edge and vertical supports of the backrest to get the best level of comfort and to create maximum support. all superfluous material from the backrest was then removed. the ‘horns’ of the backrest provide the perfect place to hang a jacket or bag. although initially designed from a functional and structural perspective, as an end result the image of the chair resembles that of a deer.

shin azumi: nara for fredericia ‘NARA’ chair

shin azumi: nara for fredericia ‘NARA’ chair

shin azumi: nara for fredericia ‘NARA’ table and chairs 180 cm x 90 cm x 72cm (‘NARA’ table dimensions) image © designboom

simple detailing and a classic aesthetic mean that the ‘NARA’ table can be subtly used in combination with the ‘NARA’ chair. however, the versatility of the table design also allows it to sit comfortably in any environment and alongside any dining chair without being too overpowering.

shin azumi: nara for fredericia ‘NARA’ table

the corners of the table have been cut off to soften what would usually be sharp edges. to create a more spacious and inviting feeling between the table legs, their internal faces are angled at 45 degrees.

shin azumi: nara for fredericia ‘NARA’ coat stand 180 cm x 32 cm x 42 cm image © designboom

‘NARA’ coat stand resembles a tree like structure, where each branch provides a place to hang an item of clothing. during the manufacture of other furniture, large amounts of waste are usually produced.  many small but good quality pieces of timber are often discarded. this design maximizes on those otherwise wasted pieces, creating a coat stand with minimal wastage of materials.

all three furniture pieces – the dining chair, table and coat stand – was on show during milan furniture fair 2010.

shin azumi: nara for fredericia ‘NARA’ coat stand