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    Klein Dytham Architecture gives Fender’s first flagship store a welcoming feel

    Klein Dytham Architecture has aimed to counter rock music snobbery with its design for guitar brand Fender’s Tokyo flagship store, which is meant to feel welcoming to people who might feel judged in other guitar stores.

    The Fender store sits across the bottom four floors of the glass-walled Ice Cubes building, a 12,000-square-metre space in the neighbourhood of Harajuku that was formerly home to an H&M store.
    It is the world’s first flagship store for the 77-year-old American brand, which is one of the most recognisable names in guitars and is particularly known for electric models like the Stratocaster.
    The Fender flagship store is located in Harajuku, TokyoFor the project, Fender asked Klein Dytham Architecture to create a space that would counter the perception of guitar stores as being intimidating, particularly for women and newer players.
    It hoped the store would offer a sophisticated and immersive retail experience that would encourage leisurely browsing and communicate the brand’s heritage.

    Klein Dytham Architecture answered the brief with a store design it sees as creating “a destination of discovery”, with gallery exhibits, an event space, a cafe and a “care bar” for repairs.
    The main browsing area on the first floor features display stands made of curved woodThe first floor houses the main browsing area, which features undulating wood benches and display units that are meant to echo the curves and materials of a Fender guitar. These contours are further mimicked in the lighting above.
    The area also has custom plectrum-shaped tables where staff can place guitars they have removed from the display to show customers. Clothing racks holding the F is for Fender streetwear collection sit among the guitars.
    The second floor, which was realised in a soft grey palette, is primarily an exhibition space called the Artists Gallery.
    The second floor is the main gallery spaceHere, large-scale photos and video shows famous musicians in action, each one alongside a transparent display case housing their Fender of choice.
    There are also displays dedicated to Japanese- and American-designed Fenders respectively, and a sound-proofed Amp Room where customers can test run guitars and amps.

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    On the darker and moodier third floor, another exhibition space — the Master Builders Gallery — focuses on the work of specific craftspeople, while two VIP rooms and a custom shop are furnished with comfortable couches and provide a setting for discussing bespoke builds.
    Also on this floor is a colourful display of 400 guitar finish samples that fills the length of one wall.
    The third floor includes the Fender custom shopThe final floor is the basement, which houses an event space, cafe and the Fender care bar, and where Klein Dytham Architecture endeavoured to create a cosier feel with a plectrum-shaped rug and benches.
    Tying the floors together is a spiral staircase with a hall-of-fame-style photo gallery on the interior, as well as a three-storey-high vertical LED display on the glass facade outside that will be used for Fender-related content.
    The basement includes an event space and a care bar”Conceived as a hub and clubhouse for all things Fender, this project takes the notion of a flagship store and experiential retail to beyond the next level,” Klein Dytham Architecture co-founder Mark Dytham told Dezeen.
    Dytham started the practice with fellow Royal College of Art graduate Astrid Klein in Tokyo in 1991. Some of their recent work includes the PokoPoko clubhouse for the Risonare Nasu hotel in rural Japan and a Cartier store with an intricate wooden facade in Osaka.
    Photography by Nacása & Partners.

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    Keiji Ashizawa designs “home-like” The Conran Shop in Hillside Terrace

    Designer Keiji Ashizawa has devised the interiors of The Conran Shop Daikanyama in Tokyo, which is located inside a building by architect Fumihiko Maki and spotlights products from Japan and Asia.

    The latest outpost from British retailer The Conran Shop is located in the modernist Hillside Terrace in Daikanyama, a quiet area close to the Tokyo city centre.
    The complex was designed by Pritzker Prize-winner Maki and constructed between 1967 and 1992.
    The Conran Shop Daikanyama was designed to resemble someone’s homeAshizawa aimed to take the existing architecture of the two-storey building into consideration when designing the interior of The Conran Shop.
    “Since the existing space had great potential, we knew that the work had to be put into elevating what was already there – thinking about the proportions of the space, the dry area and so on,” he told Dezeen.

    “Although it is inside a well-known architecture, there were elements where we thought we could bring change to the inside.”
    It features pieces by Japanese and Asian designersThese changes included turning one glass section into a solid wall.
    “Glass walls were used extensively as part of the architectural concept so that the store space could be viewed through the layers of glass,” Ashizawa said.
    “While building the store, we decided that there wouldn’t be a problem in making a section of the glass wall become a solid wall, considering its serenity as a space and its relationship with the street.”
    A mezzanine showcases a sofa and other living room furnitureThe designer created the 200-square-metre store to look like someone’s home, in a nod to the peaceful nature of the surrounding area. It features a large atrium on the ground floor, connecting it to an adjoining courtyard.
    “Daikanyama is a very calm neighbourhood in Tokyo, where we wished to design a store where people could feel relaxed and away from the stimulation of the city,” Ashizawa said.
    “We intended to create a space for people to stay for a long period of time and feel the space.”
    The store is located in the iconic Hillside Terrace complexThe interior design was also based on The Conran Shop’s three keywords – plain, simple and useful – CEO of The Conran Shop Japan Shinichiro Nakahara told Dezeen.
    The store’s product selection also places a special focus on Japanese and Asian design.
    “Specifically for The Conran Shop Daikanyama, the selections were focused on objects from Asia, including Japan,” Nakahara said.

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    “The process of [founder] Terence [Conran] travelling around the world, finding and buying items in each place by himself, has not changed,” he added. “Many of the objects selected by the Conran team in Japan have a sense of craftsmanship.”
    “We created the space by imagining a situation in which such objects would be displayed alongside each other. For example, the details of the objects are reflected in the interior design.”
    It features a staircase with a handrail made from black paper cordsThe interior uses materials that are common in Japan including concrete, steel, wood, plaster, Japanese stone and paper.
    “The use of Japanese paper in interior design is an element that is distinctively Japanese,” Ashizawa explained.
    “Shoji screens are an important element in creating a Japanese-style room but I realize that they can also be well used in both functional and aesthetic ways in a modern space.”
    Concrete walls and shoji screens were used for the interiorThe studio also used Japanese paper that had been dyed in a grey hue as wallpaper to give the space a “soft and contemporary feel.”
    “Since we weren’t building an actual house but rather a home-like Conran store, the materials were thoughtfully instrumented to achieve a balance,” Ashizawa said.
    The ground floor of the store holds furniture, homeware and apparel, and also has a mezzanine floor that is accessible by a staircase featuring a handrail made from black paper cords.
    A gallery-like space is located on the basement floorAshizawa designed the basement floor, which functions both as an additional shopping area and a gallery space, to have a calmer atmosphere.
    “Filled with natural light, the ground floor uses colours that bring grandeur and a sense of calmness,” he said.
    “The basement floor is toned to create a more private feeling. We respected the natural colours of the materials as much as possible, while also considering the harmony with the objects on display and in the gallery.”
    The store has a neutral colour palette and wooden detailsThe Conran Shop Daikanyama also has an adjoining bar where visitors can enjoy teas such as sencha and macha.
    Ashizawa has previously worked on a number of other projects in Tokyo, including the Bellustar Tokyo “hotel in the sky” and the Hiroo Residence.

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    André Fu designs colourful Casetify shop in Japan informed by shoji lanterns

    Hong Kong-based architect and interior designer André Fu has completed the first global flagship store for electronic accessory brand Casetify in Osaka, combining traditional Japanese shoji paper lanterns with bright colours.

    The store, which marks the first retail project by Fu in Japan, was informed by the urban landscape of the Shinsaibashi neighbourhood in Osaka where the store is located.
    The store is located in Shinsaibashi, the main shopping area in OsakaAccording to Fu, the interiors aim to bring “the allure of the dynamic Shinsaibashi neighbourhood into the store”.
    “The overall concept is rooted in a vision to celebrate the distinct context of the project with contrasting shapes and forms, capturing the neighbourhood’s cinematic streetscape in a world where bold geometries juxtapose against each other,” said Fu.
    Curved shoji screens form the product display wallThe storefront was designed as a floor-to-ceiling shoji lantern framed in bright orange. Customers are greeted by a round display table encircled by cylindrical shoji screens, with the same circular arrangement mirrored at the back of the store and its upper floor.

    At the centre of the Casetify store sit cabinets that have been decorated with old phone cases, donated by customers in the recycling box located next to them.
    A secret shoji window at the rear of the ground floor can be slid open to unveil customised online purchases.

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    “A lot of my work is rooted in the idea of a journey that takes the contextual quality of each project into an architectural medium,” Fu explained.
    “The world of shoji lanterns that goes around you, that folds and unfolds, creates that effect,” he added.
    “It transports you from the everyday reality of the neighbourhood to an imaginary, illusionistic expression that blends a relaxed sense of luxury with the popping Casetify colours that the brand is so well known for.”
    Cabinets are covered with materials made from recycled phone casesFu is known for his work on luxury hotels and restaurants, including the Upper House hotel in Hong Kong, the Berkeley London, and the Mitsui hotel in Kyoto.
    More recently, he created a two-person “conversation” chair in collaboration with Louis Vuitton’s Objects Nomades, and furnished a model apartment inside the Jean Nouvel tower in New York with his homeware collection.
    The photography is courtesy of Casetify.

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    Loewe ReCraft store in Osaka finds ways to let leather live on

    Fashion brand Loewe has opened a store in Osaka that, for the first time, is specifically dedicated to the repair and preservation of its leather goods.

    The opening of Loewe ReCraft continues the “obsessive focus” that the brand has had on leather since 1846, when it initially launched as a leather-making collective.
    The store is set inside luxury department store Hankyu Umeda, and – thanks to the presence of an in-house artisan – is able to offer maintenance services ranging from re-painting and stitching to the replacement of handles and eyelets.
    The store is exclusively used to preserve and repair Loewe’s leather goods”The launch [of the store] builds on Loewe’s ongoing commitment to the longevity of its handcrafted bags,” explained the brand. “It’s about the joy of craft beyond the new; it’s a commitment to breathing fresh life into long-cherished possessions.”
    The store’s open facade allows for uninterrupted sightlines through to the interior, which has been decked out in natural tones and materials.

    Dotted across the recycled-wood floor is a trio of chunky consultation islands, each clad with glossy emerald-green tiles sourced from Spain.
    Thread, cutting tools, and leather swatches lie behind a glass windowThe longest of the three islands has a thickset countertop made from limestone and wood.
    It features a series of inbuilt flat trays from which customers can select straps, charms or studs to customise their items. Monogramming services are also available.
    A window in a tile-covered wall looks through to a small repair room that houses a sewing machine, various cutting tools, swatches of leather, and a rainbow of different threads.
    Loewe bag models with surplus-leather patches and pockets will be for sale in the storeAnother tiled wall at the rear of the Loewe ReCraft store showcases bags crafted from leather left over from Loewe’s past collections, which customers can purchase.
    Limited editions of the brand’s signature Basket bag are also available to buy, updated with patches and pockets made out of surplus leather.
    As well as leather items, Loewe also makes clothing, accessories and pieces for the home.
    Earlier this year the brand released a pair of trainers covered in shaggy green raffia, emulating the appearance of grass. It also collaborated with French metal artist Elie Hirsch to produce a series of bulbous pewter and copper jackets.

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    Tile-clad Tokyo toilets are drenched in bright green and yellow light

    Local studio I IN has renovated two toilets in a Tokyo shopping centre, using lights that “propose new colours for genders” to create vivid interiors.

    The interior design studio completely renovated the two toilets, which are located on the restaurant floor of the shopping centre Shin-Marunouchi in Chiyoda City, Tokyo.
    It began by wrapping both restrooms in white tiles to give them a clean feel that would also function as an unobtrusive background for the coloured lights.
    The bathrooms are marked by bright green and yellow light”We used a mosaic tile by Dinaone that is made in the Tajimi area, which is famous for tile-making in Japan, and it has a special non-slip treatment on its surface,” I IN told Dezeen.
    “We wrapped the space in tiles to express the feeling of cleanliness; we think public restrooms need to offer a sense of purity so that this whole space can be cleaned easily,” the studio continued.

    “Our aim was also to create a continuous floor, wall and ceiling using one material so that people can experience entering an unrealistic space.”
    Stainless-steel sinks contrast white tiles insideThe all-white interior was then enhanced by hidden light fixtures that colour the female bathroom entirely yellow, while the male bathroom is all green.
    “The main aim was to propose new colours for genders,” the studio said.
    “The universal toilet signage is usually red and blue – we wanted to bring them closer together. In rainbow colours, which define diversity, yellow and green are next to each other.”
    The bathrooms are located in the Shin-Marunouchi buildingThe colours of the toilets can be changed for seasonal events, but will otherwise remain yellow and green.
    The studio also designed sinks especially for the toilets, in which almost all the functions are hidden away to help create tidy spaces with a futuristic feel.

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    “We used silver metal – stainless steel – to create original sink designs for both the women’s and the men’s room,” I IN said.
    “Here, you do not see typical equipment such as faucets, soap dispensers and hand dryers; these are designed inside the counters but you can easily find and use them,” it added.
    “As the space is all about new restroom experiences, we designed a new experience for washing hands as well.”
    The spaces were designed to be “extraordinary”I IN collaborated with architecture and engineering studio Mitsubishi Jisho Design on the design.
    The studio hopes that the washrooms will create a memorable experience for visitors.
    “The sensation of being saturated by the color of light transforms all elements of the restroom experience into something extraordinary, leaving a powerful lasting impression on the visitor,” the studio concluded.
    I IN was longlisted for emerging interior design studio of the year at Dezeen Awards 2022 and has previously overhauled a 1980s apartment in Tokyo to give it an understated luxury feel.
    The photography is by Tomooki Kengaku.

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    Wooden furniture and artworks decorate Hiroo Residence in Tokyo

    Designer Keiji Ashizawa used muted tones to make the most of the sunlight in this apartment in central Tokyo, which features wooden art pieces and furniture that was specially designed for the space.

    For the Hiroo Residence, named after its location in the city’s Hiroo neighbourhood, Ashizawa wanted to underline the quality of the light in the flat.
    A cut-out wall lets light into the hallway, which has an artwork by Sara MartinsenIn the open-plan kitchen and living room, light streams in from a balcony, and the designer took advantage of this light source by creating a cut-out wall so that the light carries through to the hallway next to it.
    “I think you can see we have a very nice sunlight here,” he told Dezeen during a walkthrough of the apartment. “So I didn’t want to use white, as it would be too bright – instead I used muted, subtle tones.”
    A wooden artwork by Atelier Plateau and a slatted sideboard decorate the living roomHe also wanted Hiroo Residence to feel like a peaceful place to come home to in a busy city, using natural materials to create a calm ambience.

    “Outside it’s super noisy but inside it’s very quiet, so I chose muted tones that also fuse with the materials; the wood and the stone,” Ashizawa said.
    The tranquil 200-square-metre apartment, which overlooks the Arisugawanomiya Memorial Park, has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, as well as a kitchen and dining area, a small workspace and plenty of storage spaces.
    Shaker-informed chairs and a wooden light were used for the kitchenBefore designing the interior, Ashizawa changed the layout of the flat to make it more open, taking out an existing hallway to create a bigger dining space.
    “Our goal was to design a space that can only be created by meticulously crafting from the smallest detail to the furniture, resulting in a quiet, comforting, and inspiring atmosphere with little noise, surrounded by natural materials crafted with tactility,” Ashizawa said of the design.
    Keiji Ashizawa used a neutral colour palette for the homeHe worked with the Japanese wooden furniture company Karimoku on the project, which is the eighth in its Karimoku Case Study series that sees it collaborate with architects on bespoke furniture and interior projects.
    As a result, wood was used throughout Hiroo Residence, with white-stained oak covering many of the floors.

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    Ashizawa also worked with Karimoku to create wooden window frames and sliding doors, which were placed throughout the flat to add privacy without taking up too much space.
    The furniture matches the wooden interior details and includes two pieces created especially for the project – a sideboard with decorative wooden slats and a dining chair with a woven seat that was inspired by both Shaker designs and classic Scandinavian chairs.
    Wooden panels cover the bedroom wallsIn the bedroom of Hiroo Residence, wooden wall panels add a tactile and more natural feel, which is echoed in the built-in shelves and drawers in the en-suite walk-in closet.
    Cabinets were also used to hide different functions in the kitchen, where a large wooden unit takes up an entire wall.
    An entire wall is taken up by a wooden kitchen unitEven smaller details in the flat, such as the long kitchen lamp, were made from the material.
    Artworks in wood by Danish art studio Atelier Plateau and the artist Sara Martinsen, which were created especially for the space,  decorate the walls.
    Karimoku has worked with Ashizawa on a number of projects, including its second showroom which just opened in Kyoto, Japan, and the Azabu Residence Case Study, where the designer referenced mid-century American design.
    The photography is by Tomooki Kengaku.

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    Rotating fluorescent panels define zones in “co-being space” by Ab Rogers Design

    Ab Rogers Design has completed an artist’s studio and residence in Kanazawa, Japan, featuring a series of fluorescent partition walls that can be rotated to transform how the space is used.

    Called Fishmarket, the multipurpose creative and living space was designed for Japanese artist Hiraki Sawa, who lives in London but regularly visits his home city of Kanazawa.
    Ab Rogers Design introduced rotating walls that define spacesSawa met Ab Rogers in 2019 when the pair were both working on projects for the Wonderfruit music festival in Thailand.
    At the time, they were both living in east London and over the course of several conversations decided to work together on what Rogers calls the “co-being space” in Kanazawa.
    The interior was stripped back to its shellNamed after the duo’s shared love of fish, the former commercial space was converted into a place for Sawa to stay while in Kanazawa, as well as a place to host workshops around design, culture and food.

    Rogers’ studio stripped the interior back to its industrial shell before adding foil-backed insulation to some of the walls and introducing interventions including the rotating plywood walls.
    The fluorescent partition walls are made from plywood”We didn’t want to make it cosy or glossy, we wanted to work with the bones of what was there,” Rogers told Dezeen.
    “We tried to let the light in as much as possible while keeping it raw and creating these interventions, these objects in space.”
    The walls were painted in different colours to add characterThe insertion of the four movable partitions on the building’s second floor allows this open space to be transformed into three smaller multipurpose zones.
    Pivoting doors conceal the bathroom and enable the bedroom to become a workshop for making art, a place for viewing it or a social space for gatherings.

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    Each panel is painted in a different fluorescent highlighter hue to bring a sense of vibrancy and character to the otherwise pared-back space.
    “I love fluorescent colours because they’re really alive and dynamic,” Rogers explained. “When daylight hits them they become electrified and they transform into something else.”
    The kitchen is located on the upper floorA concrete staircase ascends to another open space where a monolithic nine-metre-long workbench functions as a kitchen, a worktop and a table for cooking, eating and sharing.
    “The kitchen can be used as a kitchen but it’s also adaptable depending on what actions are being performed in the space,” Rogers explained.
    “If you put a plate on it, it becomes a restaurant,” he added. “If you put a computer on it then it’s an office and if you put a sewing machine on it then it becomes a workshop for designing or making textiles.”
    A long tiled bench provides space for food preparation and diningAll of the materials used in the project were sourced locally and chosen for their affordability. Building regulations also dictated some of the design decisions, such as the need to line certain walls with plywood panels.
    Rogers never visited Kanazawa, so Sawa was responsible for solving problems on-site and finding materials to turn his ideas into reality.
    Some walls were lined with plywood panelsThe project evolved over time with lots of back and forth between the client and designer. According to Rogers, this organic process produced an outcome that embodies both of their visions.
    “I love these small projects where you have a strong affiliation with the client,” said the designer. “This symbiotic way of designing through a conversation is really fluent and means you’re always building ambition.”
    The studio was previously a commercial spaceRogers works across fields such as health, culture, retail, hospitality and housing.
    Previous projects by the multidisciplinary design studio include a cancer treatment hospital clad in glazed red terracotta and a space-efficient apartment with a floor area of just 19 square metres.
    The photography is by Takumi Ota.

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    Karimoku opens Kyoto showroom informed by traditional houses and temple gardens

    Designer Keiji Ashizawa has created the interior of Japanese furniture brand Karimoku’s second showroom, which features a combination of its own wooden furniture and pieces by local artists and artisans.

    Set in a three-storey building, the brand describes Karimoku Commons Kyoto as a “hybrid space”, which will function as a showroom and also house office spaces for employees.
    The space is located inside a former machiya – a traditional Japanese wooden townhouse – in Kyoto, a city known for its temples, Shinto shrines and gardens.
    The showroom is located in a Kyoto townhouseAshizawa, who has worked with Karimoku for years and also designed its first showroom in Tokyo, looked to the history of both the city and the building when designing the interior.
    “I really wanted to use the language of the townhouse and also took inspiration from Kyoto gardens,” Ashizawa told Dezeen.

    For the showroom’s ground floor area, he drew on the doma areas in traditional Japanese homes, which had bare dirt floors and functioned as a bridge between the indoors and the outdoors.
    It features wood furniture and wood panelling by KarimokuHere, Ashizawa placed furniture in light-coloured wood, including chairs by British architect Norman Foster and pieces by Danish studio Norm Architects and Ashizawa himself.
    The floor is grey concrete, which was matched by pale-grey plaster walls and a ceiling in the same colour.
    Art and ceramics by Japanese artists decorate the spaceWooden slats, of a kind traditionally used in Kyoto homes and stores to let light into buildings while maintaining privacy, cover parts of the glazing at the front of the room.
    Light wooden panelling by Karimoku hides built-in storage spaces and functions as a shelf.
    The first floor has a darker colour paletteOn the first floor, Ashizawa chose to use a darker colour palette, with furniture pieces in smoked oak wood and flooring and wall panels in dark wood.
    “When you visit a tourism house or a temple in Kyoto, the old wood, like on the temple floors, is a very dark colour,” he said. “I thought such a colour had to be the key colour [for the project].”
    The layout of this area also drew on the walkways and paths of Kyoto’s temple gardens.
    “It’s more of a guide to how to articulate the space,” Ashizawa explained. “We can think of the furniture as an art piece or a stone – it’s a kind of installation.”
    A wall alcove functions as a tokonoma display spaceThe top floor of Karimoku Commons Kyoto will function as a “library space” and showcase the latest collections and collaborations from the contemporary Case Study, Karimoku New Standard, MAS and Ishinomaki Laboratory brands.
    Throughout the showroom, earthy ceramics and rough-hewn sculptures by Japanese artists were used as decoration, which add to the organic feel brought by the wood.

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    Pieces by ceramics brand Nota Shop in the nearby Shiga prefecture and vases by Kyoto artist Ai Ono were among the objects chosen for the space by stylist Yumi Nakata, who worked with Ashizawa on the project.
    These were placed on tables and shelves as well as in wall recesses informed by traditional Japanese tokonoma alcoves, where homeowners would display artistic objects.
    Keiji Ashizawa designed the interior of the showroom”There are so many places in which to show something,” Ashizawa said of Karimoku Commons Kyoto.
    “In a traditional Japanese house, there are many spaces like this, showing paintings, ceramics or flowers, which I think is one of the beauties of the culture of the Japanese house. In many ways, we tried to make such a space.”
    The top floor displays a variety of furniture piecesKarimoku, which is Japan’s largest wooden furniture brand, started out making traditional Japanese furniture.
    It now also works with a number of designers on the more contemporary sub-brands Case Study, Karimoku New Standard, MAS and Ishinomaki Laboratory, which are the four brands that will be sold in the Karimoku Commons Kyoto showroom.
    The Kyoto space is Karimoku’s second showroom after TokyoAshikawa hopes the space will help to promote a modern design aesthetic.
    “Karimoku is trying to promote modern furniture in modern life,” he said. “I need to explain about the Japanese living space situation – for example, in 1960, sixty years ago, we didn’t have much furniture in the living space.”
    “And then the modern living space came to Japan and people started buying their tables, chairs and even the sofa; it’s quite new, so people don’t necessarily understand how to use a sofa,” he added.
    “Japanese living spaces can be too messy, so it’s quite nice to show them like this.”
    Previous projects by Ashizawa include a curve-shaped tofu restaurant and a Blue Bottle Coffee shop in Kobe. Karimoku recently collaborated with Foster on a collection of furniture used in the architect’s Foster Retreat in Martha’s Vineyard.
    The photography is by Tomooki Kengaku.

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