There are very few product designers that can be mentioned in the same breath as Naoto Fukasawa. Devoted to simplicity and sublime beauty, Fukasawa has designed for a wide range of leading brands across the world, most notably with MUJI, and spans a wide variety of fields, from precision electronic equipment to furniture and interior settings. His work has long been celebrated on Minimalissimo and for good reason. His application of minimalism, his vision of a simpler future, and his dedication to his craft through his love of everyday objects makes for a portfolio that is seemingly unrivalled.
Today we look at a collection of furniture, One on One, made for Italian brand, Bottega Ghianda. The collection includes a desk, chair, and a later addition in form of a side table.
The writing desk resembles that of a Vitruvian design, a model of a Platonic solid, or even an ancient harpsichord reduced to its most essential forms. Influences that recall the past stem from distinctly contemporary lines, in terms of purity and the consistency between form and function. An apparently simple design concept belies the complex workmanship that gives rise to a sophisticated play of perspectives.
The One on One desk chair is based on beams with a square cross-section. The minimal forms evoke simplicity; but the juncture of three segments is technically challenging, and the accuracy required here is increased by the slenderness of the structure. Essentiality combines with a strong personality, both supported by expert craftsmanship.
The On-on table expresses the same design language as the furniture from the One on One family. The universal feature, the square beam, drives a play of perspectives, that in this case becomes subtly ironic. Fukusawa has pursued the ideal of “objective” objects, able to reflect the environment in which they are placed rather than the individuality of the designer, making them ready to arouse that sense of déjà vu.
If you would like to discover more about Naoto Fukasawa and his approach to design and teaching, you can read our interview with him.