May 18, 2009
Live@ICFF, Editor’s Pick: Hiroshima Chair
Naoto Fukasawa’s humble dining chair is a surprisingly powerful piece of design.
Subtle magic: Naoto Fukasawa’s Hiroshima dining chair
There is no such thing as a perfect chair (or a perfect anything, for that matter) but Naoto Fukasawa’s Hiroshima dining chair is, if not perfect, then perfectly sublime. The chair is part of a larger collection the great designer did in 2008 for Maruni, the Japanese furniture company.
Every detail here is poetically resolved: the curve of the arms, the graceful tilt of the back rest where body meets chair, the subtly tapered legs, the ever-so-slight curve of the seat, even the small but perceptual space between the seat and front legs, which gives the chair a kind of visual lift. It feels grounded and graceful and light, simultaneously.
On Sunday morning at ICFF, as Asian music wafted through the ancillary hall where a terrific exhibition honoring Japanese design was installed, a small group of us stood around this humble beech chair, staring at it, wondering how something so simple and quiet could be this…powerful. And yet powerful feels like the wrong (Western) word here. “It doesn’t scream at you,” said Walter Hawkins, admiring the chair, “but it does speak to you.”