Make your own. I had the opportunity to visit one of the world’s most sought-after design and furniture factories – the factory behind the design of the “King” of chairs is in the US, of course. So I drove to New York…
I’m a big fan of Japanese furniture and Japanese industrial design, specifically those from a more forward-looking direction, such as Kenzo Tange, Hiroshi Fujiwara or Shinya Igarashi. It is very likely that the Japanese design philosophy which is still so ingrained to designers like Miyazaki and Nishitani today – that every great piece of furniture ought to have an “essence” – is a direct result of this design philosophy, which was developed over a century ago.
To understand this, you need to know a bit about Japanese architecture. Tokyo is by far the most populated city in the world. A third of the city is covered in buildings, with streets and buildings being very much in fashion. Tokyo is so densely packed that there is a real sense of space in this world and the city is very dense with buildings, which is why we have such vibrant outdoor spaces.
These buildings have a distinctive character; it is the architecture that gives them their unique character. They are often very simple in nature and have lots of little details that are quite hard to find. If the architects and design teams at one point were to sit down and discuss all these details of a building, I’m sure that would be fascinating. So here is a quick look at some of the most iconic Japanese architecture:
The Murakami Building at the Harajuku district in Tokyo is one of the most unique buildings in the world at the moment. It started as a warehouse used for storing clothes by the Japanese army before being converted into a residential building with a central hall and balconies which create the feeling of a floating city. (By the way, did I mention that it’s located on the second floor of an office tower in Japan?)
Yamaya – the largest indoor shopping mall in Japan is a building on the site of a medieval monasteries. (I know, I know, it’s weird what you can learn about Japanese history from a shopping mall. But it should be interesting.)
Kawada – the world’s tallest building is made entirely out of wood.
Kumamoto – the largest public bath building in Japan; constructed by the Kiyosaki company. (The Kiyosaki company built the
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