Japanese designer Keiji Ashizawa looked to both the world of architecture and his own background in steel-working when creating his strikingly simple desk in natural or stained oak. Rail Desk employs a spare steel "frame"—inspired by the handrail of a staircase—to define the negative space and provide a tactile contrast to the wood surface. Conceived with versatility in mind, it can function as a desk, counter or shelf to store books and be hung at any height that the need dictates.
8.3" h x 36.2" w x 17.7" d (21.2x92x45cm)
Oak veneer, MDF, steel
"It's about creating aesthetically pleasing designs that evoke true feelings,” Menu founder Bjarne Hansen told the online magazine Lonny, “as well as improving processes in people's daily lives.” Ranging from tabletop objects to bath fixtures to lighting and furniture, the Danish brand’s pursuit of "soft minimalism" involves collaborations with designers from all over the world. The company’s guiding spirit is a quest for functional originality—with each product having either a new purpose, incorporating a new material or utilizing a new production method.
Menu is just as dedicated to responsible manufacturing as it is innovation. Working to locate new partners in developing countries around the world, the company searches out local factories or small private co-operations to turn out high quality goods and also provide a better economic foundation for the people involved in that production. "We’re passionate about design, new materials and clever details," say the folks at Menu, "and we dream about making a difference."