This graceful side table embodies an intriguing meditation on form: is it a rounded-edge triangle or a triangular circle? Gabriella Gustafson and Mattias Ståhlbom from the Swedish design duo TAF created the Soft Triangle Table for Japanese heritage brand Karimoku New Standard. Milled out of a solid block of chestnut, the heft of the table at first reminded the designers of a chopping block. But the sweeping curve of the table's underside and finely crafted rim take it far from that utilitarian origin. This is a table with definite presence. Or magnify the impact: since all sides of the table are equal, they can be combined to make a larger coffee table.
13" h x 21" w x 19" d (33x53x48cm)
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.
"TAF’s aim is to make ordinary life less ordinary through subtle but effective changes in how products and architecture appear and function,” say Mattias Ståhlbom and Gabriella Gustafson. The designer duo founded the Stockholm-based TAF Architects studio to breathe new life into everyday—and ultimately necessary—tools for living.
With a range from lighting to furniture design to custom projects, TAF’s work has been exhibited at MoMA in New York and the Swedish National Museum in Stockholm. What unites the diverse offerings is a unifying and innovative approach to find the tipping point where, as they say, “everyday objects by their very commonness can be made uncommon.”