A tall tale, a table and the making of a folly: Charles Kaisin

section of table

Drawings: Charles Kaisin

If a table is not to be sat at, and dined upon, then what is it for? Charles Kaisin designed and built a grand and somewhat odd table, suggesting the enchanted forest from where the wood came. But who would ever learn of its bizarre and infectious charm?

His answer was to create an equally grand and odd feast, a fancy dress party on the theme of the surreal, to introduce the table, explore his work, and show that folly, and exuberance can be a serious business.

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Strength in modesty: Dovecote barn, UK: by Nicolas Tye Architects



Photos: Nerida Howard

Building on Green-Belt land, where development is greatly restricted, can be a fraught affair. In this apparently effortless example, a long and narrow barn building imposed some impractical living restrictions that could be mitigated by a simple extension to give the building more width.

Nicolas Tye Architects used the opportunity to create a thoughtful mediating space that better linked the garden with the living accommodation of the barn. The new space also extended the variety of living accommodation creating something between a simple room and a conservatory. Read more

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Capsule hotels by Kisho Kurokawa

Nakagin Capsule Tower

No discussion of Japanese hotel typologies would be complete without a dip in to the work of the Metabolist architects and in particular the work of Kisho Kurokawa. The14 story Nakagin Capsule Tower, one of his most famous works, is now slated for demolition to near universal uproar. It was originally conceived as a hotel for business workers who could not get home late of an evening. It had a surprising level of accommodation that the images reproduced here of a renovated capsule demonstrate.

The idea was taken to a more extreme level with The Capsule Hotel in Osaka. It reduced the sleeping space for guests into something like a large coffin or crawl space with a glass front. It is still a functioning hotel and is now an international tourist attraction in its own right.

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Sex and repression in modern society: Japanese love hotels.

merry go round

Photos: Trendland

Fusing themes running through yesterday’s posts on hotel design and eroticism in the everyday object, we take a peek onto the increasingly sophisticated sub – genre of hotel design: love hotels. In high density cities such as Tokyo, privacy is difficult to come by. Although the city is not unique in seeking a solution to this most human of difficulties, it has spawned a interesting type of hotel that has long since transcended the purely functional to explore the full gamut of human fantasy. Love hotels have now spread well beyond Tokyo and are now an attraction in their own right. Read more

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A point of perspective: Blumers & Schumm.

A room

Photos: Blumers & Schumm

In classical painting composition the artist’s licence allowed, even expected, oblique references to mythical or historical events that gave substance to the art and that a cognoscenti of viewers would be able to understand as a statement of wit, learning or even profundity. Sometimes, the artist might overlay that meaning with a more subtlety coded meaning of his own. The famous book and TV series of 1972 by John Berger titled: Ways of Seeing unlocked this aspect of art for ordinary viewers who, perhaps for the first time, could begin to appreciate meaning in art.

In this series of images it could be argued that the photographers Blumers & Schumm continue to explore the tradition of coded meaning in art so effectively exposed by Berger. Read more

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