If your image of modernism is filled with dour faces and an unleavened seriousness, the international trio of designers behind Big-Game Studio will change that outlook in a heartbeat. Consider their Signs Coat Stand. Six arms attach to a central wooden post that pivots and folds out in 2 directions to form the hooks that hold coats and bags. A bonus is the amusement factor: with the arms deployed, the hall stand calls to mind the characters of an archaic alphabet. Strong magnets hidden within the 5-foot-7 (1720mm) central post hold the hooks in vertical position when not in use. Unstintingly crafted by the artisans at Karimoku New Standard in Itaya Maple, this rack comes in either a clear-coat natural finish or an opaque sky gray.
67.7" h x 13.8" w x 13.8" d (172x35x35cm)
Karimoku New Standard
It has always been about the wood. Shohei Kato opened a small woodworking shop in 1940 from a longstanding timber firm he acquired in Kariya. The first letters of the town name combined with “moku,” as in “mokuzai” ( “wood”) provided the brand name. Furniture followed within 2 decades, along with several brands under the Karimoku umbrella. Then in 2009, with his grandson Hiroshi Kato as vice president, the Karimoku New Standard branch launched to develop works with international designers in the modern design arena.
The star roster includes Swedish studio TAF, the Swiss team Big-Game and Dutch duo Scholten & Baijings. Among them is David Glaettli, who also serves as KNS brand creative director and dubbed its credo as “high-tech and high-touch.” The highly skilled Japanese carpentry and hand-applied painting that are a part of the parent company heritage are integral to KNS. It also looks forward, revitalizing native forests by targeting undervalued, sustainably grown hardwoods. Advanced technologies have elevated the low-diameter chestnut, maple and oak trees, once turned into wood chips for paper pulp, into something of lasting beauty. The aim, notes Hiroshi, is “furniture that will be used and loved for more than 100 years.”