Getting benched gets a happier connotation here. The Castor Bench from Japanese heritage brand Karimoku New Standard shares the characteristic details of the series, adapted for a handsome versatility. Inspired by a traditional Nipponese "endai" (a 4-legged wooden outdoor bench), the surface appears to be made of individual laths, but in fact is a solid board made of multiple strips of Japanese oak. Relying on time-honored techniques, this achieves a large surface with great strength. Attractive on its own anywhere extra seating is needed, it can also be combined to extend the companion unit, Castor Shelf. By Swiss design firm Big-Game, a prime collaborator in Karimoku's newly-minted quest to engage exciting new international talent as well as to promote responsible craftsmanship with efforts to preserve and revitalize Japanese hardwood forests at home.
17.75" h x 47.25" l x 14" d (45x120x35.5cm)
Made in Japan
Karimoku New Standard
A traditional Japanese maker of wood furniture for 70-odd years, Karimoku turned an exciting new page when it relaunched in 2009 with an international roster of contributing designers as Karimoku New Standard. The reboot was twofold—to create modern pieces using its heritage of Japanese craftsmanship techniques and to revitalize native forests by targeting significantly undervalued hardwoods. That precious resource, from low-diameter chestnut, maple and oak trees, had previously ended up mostly as wood chips for paper pulp.
Meanwhile, the design world was gobsmacked by the company’s splendidly functional, often joyously colored furnishings emanating from its collaborating partners. From European, Scandinavian and Japanese creative talents, they include Swedish studio TAF, the Swiss team Big-Game and cult Dutch design duo Scholten & Baijings. The revived Karimoku concept, termed “high-tech and high-touch” by brand creative director David Glaettli, melds the latest technology with unstinting hand-finishing for a truly collectable array of refreshingly unique standouts.