A Functional Collection from Stellar Works Is Designed for Short Rests

Designed by Japanese firm nendo, Kite, a collection of armchairs from Stellar Works, flouts conventional armchair design.

Stellar Works Kite By Nendo Cut Out Photo Credit Akihiro Yoshida 010 Hr
Stellar Works’ factory on the outskirts of Shanghai produces collections in collaboration with international designers, as well as bespoke pieces for hotels. Of its international roster of collaborators, founder Yuichiro Hori says: “We always look for creativity and practicality.” Among the brand’s launches this year are the arm-chair Kite, the stool Blend, and Frame, a modular system that can be augmented with mirrors or trays. Courtesy Akihiro Yoshida

One of this year’s most intriguing furniture debuts is an armchair that seems to flout all the conventions of armchairs. Kite, the brainchild of the Japanese studio nendo and created for Stellar Works, was designed to provide seating for short periods of time in confined spaces. Upholstered in customizable Kvadrat fabric, Kite features a slim, curved shape that encourages its user to lean rather than settle in for the long haul. The design comes in different combinations—high back or low, seats shallow or deep—to suit different settings.

Innovative yet simple and functional, the perch-able seat has all the hallmarks of Shanghai-based Stellar Works’ timeless sensibility. The brand’s founder, Yuichiro Hori, is something of a design maverick, having resisted the temptation to unveil flamboyant designs at fairs or to tap into China’s mass-market furniture model. Instead, he has built a brand informed by technical proficiency and a heritage of Chinese artisanship.

Another addition to the Stellar Works line is Blend, a nendo-designed family of three-legged wooden stools that appear to defy gravity. Complex engineering, which took Stellar Works’ craftspeople a year to perfect, enables the chair’s third leg to be structurally supported by the two others (rather than the seat). There’s also Frame, a slender, modular series of frames that double as towel racks or shelves.

Though international collaboration is integral to the brand, Hori emphasizes that the Chinese tradition of craftsmanship is central to the company: “We are proud to say ‘Made in Shanghai’ is part of our DNA.”

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