Japanese wood furniture manufacturer Karimoku New Standard showcased new space-saving dining furniture by German designer Christian Haas in Milan last week.
Karimoku, manufacturer of wood furniture for 70 years in Aichi Prefecture in central Japan, launched the brand in 2009. Born out of a collaboration with some of the most promising international design talents, this collection features innovative, joyful, functional objects, made to suit the ways of urban living.
The products of Karimoku New Standard are essentially made of solid Japanese hardwoods such as maple, chestnut and oak. In an attempt to preserve and revitalise Japanese forests and resume a balance with the local industry, the hardwood used is gained from low-diameter trees that have previously remained underused, ending up mostly as wood chips for paper pulp. Karimoku’s tradition derives from a deep understanding of craftsmanship, bound together with innovative technologies to build furniture that meets the highest requirements of quality and sustainability. A piece of furniture should last at least as long as the tree it was made from, the brand believes.
The Scout collection marks the first collaboration between the Japanese firm and the Portugal-based ceramics and glassware designer, Christian Haas. The collection features dining chairs that stack like supermarket trolleys and an accompanying table with detachable legs, all made from Japanese oak. German-born Haas began his career in Munich. In 2007, he opened his design studio in Paris and in 2011 launched his own label. His made-to-measure designs are represented by galleries worldwide.
In addition to personal design projects, he designs for companies such as Christofle, Rosenthal, Villeroy & Boch, Theresienthal, Karimoku New Standard and Volkswagen. The designer’s portfolio includes chinaware, glassware, lighting design, furniture and interior design.
The chairs in the Karimoku New Standard collection come in a moss green, pale pink, red or plain wood colour and are treated with a transparent matt finish.
The design consists of five interwoven pieces. A simple, curved seat is supported by a pair of straight legs at the front, while a backrest with a deep curve is attached to the top of the angular rear legs. A computer numerically controlled cutting machine is used to carve each leg, as well as the connecting horizontal bar. This method employs a router to carve a shape prescribed by a digital model from a block of wood.
The pieces are then finished and assembled by hand. This reflects Karimoku’s concept of high-tech and high-touch. Because the chairs are designed for use in modern living spaces, they can be stacked in a horizontal line so their seats overlap when not in use.
The Scout chair is conceived as a compact, versatile seat with the comfort of an armchair. The design challenges the archetype of the wooden chair and proposes an innovative structural composition that results in unique proportions and striking details.
The dining table is available in a round, square or rectangular design with a clear, natural finish. Each version uses the same modular legs, which can be detached from the tabletop to allow for flat-pack transportation. The series makes use of the particularities of Karimoku’s techniques and craftsmanship. The resulting sophisticated details and refined finishes reflect Karimoku’s passion for perfection and longevity.