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Chidori furniture by Kengo Kuma

Chidori furniture designed by Kengo Kuma + Associates. Photo: Kengo Kuma + Associates

Chidori, a design concept derived from old Japanese toys, was applied by Kengo Kuma to a new modular furniture design.

The concept for the Chidori furniture by the Japanese architecture office Kengo Kuma + Associates arose from a collaboration between the architects and the East Japan project - a project that was started by Kengo Kuma and craftsmen from the Tohoku region in East Japan after the earthquake. Their intention was to take traditional design concepts and apply them to the contemporary way of living.

Components of the Chidori system by Kengo Kuma + Associates. Drawing by Kengo Kuma + Associates

The Chidori furniture collection by Kengo Kuma is not only based on local craftsmanship and vernacular materials, but also on the design concept for an old Japanese toy that is built out of wooden planks connected through a joint system allowing them to stay together even without the use of nails or glue.

The traditional Japanes Chidori toys from which the concept of the furniture was derived. Design by Kengo Kuma + Associates. Photo: Kengo Kuma + Associates

Modular units make up the design principle of the Chidori furniture: Twelve timber sticks with different junction details make up one unit of furniture. These units can be assembled in numerous combinations to form a table, shelf, or an architectural wall.

Chidori system assembled to an architectural wall. Design by Kengo Kuma + Associates. Photo: Kengo Kuma + Associates

Kengo Kuma explains the East Japan project: “The New Lifestyle is a way of living to reverse this course of the 20th century, when notion of location had been lost. Together with the craftspeople from the Tohoku Region (or the East Japan), we propose products for The New Lifestyle. What we present is not at all exclusive or pretentious traditional crafts, but are “new types of daily tools,” which we use regularly in our everyday life. They are the equipment for ourselves to carry on with life in our location, and to take part in a larger circulatory system called location.”

 

 

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