Japanese maker Karimoku New Standard’s signature polygonal table takes on a new guise with an unadorned version in naturally whitened chestnut wood. Previously, designers Scholten & Baijings applied graphic accents—ranging from soft pastels to their trademark fluorescent pink—to the so-named Colour collection. Now the unembellished model puts the focus solely on form, with the barrel-like base made of individual laths that are connected at intricate angles inspired by the traditional wood joint technique “yatoi-sanetsugi.” And the hardwood is selected from underused low-diameter trees, in order to preserve and revitalize the country’s forests.
- Medium: 15.4" h x 23.7" w x 23.6" dia (39.1x 60.2x59.9cm)
- Large: 12.9" h x 28.2" w x 28" dia (32.8x71.6x71.1cm)
- X Large: 12.8" h x 35.2" w x 35" dia (32.5x89.4x89cm)
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.
Scholten & Baijings
“Stefan is really good at the big picture. I’m good at the details,” says Carole Baijings of her design partnership with Stefan Scholten, which grew out of the Dutch couple’s relationship. Though she is self-educated and Stefan studied at the Design Academy Eindhoven, “as our lives came together, working together was a natural progression, ” Carole says.
Now, more than 10 years later, Scholten & Baijings’ light-filled studio overlooks Amsterdam’s harbor and their work, with its unusual color choices and layered gradations of tone, is instantly recognizable. Collaborating with a who’s who of illustrious contemporary brands worldwide, from Hay in Denmark to Karimoku New Standard in Japan, their product range includes textiles, glass and furniture. “We work more like artists,” Carole says. “We start with materials and colors and then try to create a shape or a design. It’s a different approach than starting with a word or a concept or an idea.”