Images and Reporting by Hayden Martis
Founded by Japanese wooden furniture manufacturer laugh, see-saw is a range of everyday day objects from designers Ryohei Yoshiyuki, PANTALOON and Atsushi Suzuki with an emphasis on the relationship between people and products.
A table, chair, stand and series of trays round out this nicely balanced collection of objects, best described as playful, light, efficient and functional.
I was instantly engaged with the "knotted" table, designed by Ryohei Yoshiyuki. Well-proportioned, visually light and dare I say almost IKEA-like in it's simple construction. It wasn't until my second look at see-saw's exhibit and a good chat with the designers, was I informed that the seemingly random inlaid spots of color were, in fact, covering big knots in the grain...duh!
knotted table by Ryohei Yoshiyuki
Made from Japanese Cedar, or Sugi, it's natural defects ensure each and every table is a unique and individual object. Purists can object to "covering" natures blemishes, however the spotty additions create a beautiful and playful dimension which would have otherwise been lost had Yoshiyuki kept things clean and minimal. Selected Melamine tones were soft and complimented the natural wood grain color nicely.
One of the more inventive multifunctional pieces from Design Tide was the aptly titled 'chair' a pseudo chair-stool-stand piece. It featured a removable seat component that transforms the object from purely posterior support, to dual clothes horse with a lift of the leading leg. Perfect for throwing a few shirts over to keep them from hitting the floor!
chair by Atsushi Suzuki
"way" is a series of trays made from workshop offcuts. Where necessary, these have had any defect or rough cut worked out by forming the offset into a shallow dish, with some lucky lumbers given a lick of playful paint.
way by PANTALOON
Next up is "stand" a simple, but well-proportioned traditional clothes stand with body and arms in Hinoki Cypress, foot in Steel. An obvious addition to round out a collection of everyday Japanese objects. Available in medium & tall.
see-saw was one of the more refined collections at Design Tide Tokyo, cleverly dancing the delicate line of balancing group cohesiveness with individuality. More importantly, they presented a new effort showing plenty of potential to push individual concepts further into whole ranges themselves.