Images courtesy of Kengo Kuma + Associates.
Sometimes creativity is born out of tragedy. The earthquake in Japan earlier this year prompted a number of designers and artisans to re-examine past ideas and consider how local craftsmanship and vernacular materials can be integrated into modern life. One tangible product to emerge from this reflective process is Chidori furniture, a collaboration between Kengo Kuma and the East Japan Project.
Based on a traditional Japanese toy, Chidori furniture is constructed of wood pieces with a square section and connected through pure joinery, without mechanical fasteners or adhesives. It’s an infinitely expandable and reconfigurable system whose abstraction lends itself to a variety of applications. Construct it as a pure grid for a sculptural effect or to act as a space divider; add flat surfaces to generate tables, seating and other furniture pieces. In its recollection of traditional Japanese architecture and construction, Chidori manages to deftly bridge the craftsmanship of the past with the modular and flexible aesthetics of the present.