For a relative minnow of the design world, it was great to see some solid involvement from the international design community at Łódź Design Festival in Poland last week. To give one outstanding example—Eindhoven based Japanese designer Tsuyoshi Hayashi took to the stage to present his delightfully simple 'Kawara Chair'—a small stool from ceramic and wood.
Inspired by the charming array of colours and finishes of rejects, Hayashi makes use of off-casts from the traditional Kawara curved tile industry in Takahama, Japan. The frame design takes advantage of the tiles' standard size and shape: the tiles slot in with awesome precision, holding firm without the need for glueing or fixing of any kind. The unique hardness of these glazed tiles (apparently fired at double the temperature used in Western kilns) gives the dainty seats a satisfying solidity.
Although they were not on view at Łódź, Hayashi has in fact developed a range of seats based around the tiles, including tall stools and benches. Having successfully up-cycled waste in Takahama, Hayashi now apparently has his sites on the waste of European industry.
Sam Dunne is a designer, strategist and writer based in London. Sam is founder of design strategy agency Cohere and Contributing Editor at Core77—reporting broadly on design, technology, food and object culture.