This Chair Fired Up My Synapses.

When it comes to furniture design, there really haven’t been that many game changers in the last twenty years. Nothing like we saw from the end of the 1940’s through the late 1960’s. Today’s materials, processes, and designs for the most part are based on something that was pioneered by designers from the past. I know a lot of people are going to disagree with me on this, but it is pretty rare when something really new happens in the world of furniture design these days. I think that is why I like “Synapse” from designer Andrew Perkins.

This might not be ground breaking, but the use of materials and the structural design of the chair impressed me. I love the fact that the chair is held together with two stainless steel components, which not only form the joints of the chair, but create a spring like cushion as well.

The chair has clean elegant lines. It’s stackable. the choice in materials is wonderful. Attention to detail and construction looks amazing. It might not be earth shattering in terms of new materials, or construction methods, but it is a breath of fresh air in a space that is flooded with spin offs on the same old, same old.

Structural comfort and thoughtful use of materials are at the heart of this piece. All the necessary joints of a chair are distilled into one component. The stainless steel component allows the chair to stack and provides a measure of spring to the user.

Andrew Perkins

The ToFu Lamp. Minimalist Brilliance.

Back in the olden days of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s I still occasionally worked on a light table, with the ancient implement known as a “Triangle”. One of the things I loved about plastic triangles and other drafting tools was the way the light would pass through the flat surface and pass out the side, like light bending through a prism.

These lamps reminded me of that very visual when I saw them. Designed by Tokujin Yoshioka, the ToFU lamp, is a block of clear Methacrylate acrylic that allows an aluminum clad lamp housing to be inserted into its side. The lamp is a standard halogen bulb, and when it is turned on, light passes through the acrylic slab and illuminates the edges of the clear square. The ToFU lamp is beautifully minimalist in its design, fading completely into the surrounding space leaving you with a glowing square of light.

Yoskioka was born in Saga, Japan. He worked under Shiro Kuramata starting in 1987 and for Issey Miyake from 1988 until establishing his own studio, Tokujin Yoshioka Design in 2000. He has worked on many projects with Issey Miyake for the last 20 years including shop design and installation for A-POC and ISSEY MIYAKE. In addition he has collaborated with various companies in and outside Japan such as HERMES, TOYOTA, BMW, KDDI and other noted ones. With SWAROVSKI, the project of designing all the shops in the world is in progress, including the one in London and the new flagship shop in Ginza, Tokyo.