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Tomoko Azumi
nextmaruni Dining Chair and Nesting Table


nextmaruni 12 chairs project
Galleria Jannone
Milan Furniture Fair

launched April 13 2005

work: Dining Chair and Nesting Tables

The nextmaruni project included furniture designs for a furniture manufacturer from Hiroshima, Japan. It enabled the first formal development of traditional and digital technologies within design outputs.

manifestations of japanese aesthetic
"the designers were requested to design an archetype of chair design, a piece of art and hopefully a long time seller. with this project maruni wishes to enhance the dialogue with japanese culture - western design that incorporates and shares japanese aesthetic. the chairs will be shown during the milan furniture fair in april 2005 at the galleria jannone." (designboom)

read the designboom article

The Dining Chair design was developed through the analysis of existing manfacturing strengths, utilising high-technology facilities, such as the large scale 5-axis CNC router, to achieve refined finished finger joints, alongside high quality crafted upholstery techniques. A wooden frame was constructed including four legs in one piece, providing structural strength. Using fumed Solomon Mahogany, roughly shaped parts are firstly jointed together, then carved on the CNC machine. The continuous seat and back was upholstered in leather.

The Nesting Tables design extended this technology further. A set of three occasional tables with one piece table legs (as in the dining chair) and bead blasted mirror table top provides sheer reflection of objects on top. This draws references to light and shade and childhood memories of play in Japan.

Launched at Milano Salone del Mobile in 2005, as a part of the 12 Chairs exhibition by the nextmaruni project, the project was led by the architect Masayuki Kurokawa, who initiated the brief to connect cultural context to industry. Azumi was an invited designer alongside Alberto Meda, Harri Koskinen, Jasper Morrison, Michele De Lucchi and Naoto Fukazawa.

nextmaruni is a large manufacturer with modern facilities to carry out mass production of Western style furniture. Due to the rise of low cost manufacturing in China, and shifts in market taste, their market position was ambiguous. This project was a trial to introduce a design-led direction and to explore the potential of transforming an existing company into a cutting-edge design brand.

Slideshow: Tomoko Azumi - nextmaruni Dining Chair and Nested Tables

I.D. article featuring Azumi's nextmaruni Nested Tables

Lone Star

back to Tomoko Azumi home page

London Metropolitan University