The Invisibles by Tokujin Yoshioka
for Kartell


Milan 2010: Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka will launch a collection of transparent polycarbonate furniture at the Kartell showroom in Milan next month.

Called The Invisibles, the collection will include chairs, tables, armchairs and benches displayed within an installation at the store designed by Yoshioka.

See all our stories about Milan 2010 in our special category.
See all our stories about Tokujin Yoshioka here.

The information that follows is from Kartell:


On the occasion of the Milan Salone del Mobile, and ten years after the “invention” of transparency, Kartell is bringing out a new stylistic approach to “invisible furniture”.

At the Kartell flagstore in Milan the poetic and rarefied mood of the Japanese designer, Tokujin Yoshioka, will breathe life into an ethereal ambience where a series of unique pieces will be on show, all of them sharing the lightness of their complete transparency with the stylistic preciosity of solid, maxi forms with thicknesses never before seen in design pieces made of polycarbonate.

The range of pieces presented encompasses tables, occasional tables, sofas, armchairs and benches which will be on display in a space completely transformed by the creative talent of Tokujin where the play of the evanescence of transparency is all-pervading.

The invisible collection is the creative expression born from a design of Tokujin and created through the companyʼs wish to invest its own technological know-how in giving life to new forms.

According to Claudio Luti, President of Kartell, “The Kartell-Tokujin team is founded on the creativity of both partners, on the brandʼs expertise and on the designerʼs poetry which goes far beyond technical brilliance.”

Tokujin Yoshioka explains “In the last few years I have been thinking about a design that would include natural phenomena and invisible elements such as senses, wind and light. The "Invisible", a special collection launched from Kartell, only leaves the sense as if seating in the air. The presence of the object is eradicated and it will create a scenery of a sitter floating in the air.

It is as if the physical presence of the object has been uprooted and gives life to a “floating” scenario. Even the installation itself gives visitors that extraordinary sensation of entering an unreal world.


Posted on Thursday March 18th 2010 at 10:43 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • b

    plastic at its best
    big chunky square blocks
    will have to see in real life if it works..
    but very clever

  • My idol……

  • Morgan Geist

    Hello, This is Morgan Geist.

    37yrs after, Shiro Kuramata’s disciple creates a clumsy and visually weighted version of the glass chair.

    Tokujin Yoshioka creates the invisibles today, but Shiro Kuramata created the impossibles yesterday.




  • Japr

    is there any discovery or revelation enclosed in this design? does a palnk of acrylic deserve this acclaim? besides, this works well in these “perfume like- celestial” stills, real life doesn’t include a white infinite behind for cute shadings, and above all, little use will scratch these boards irreversevely. Things don’t get better if it’s only about photogenic intentions.

  • PeeBee

    That will hurt your back.

  • M Spencer

    Though I should issue a quick correction that the chair is polycarbonate which should be significantly stronger and more scratch resistant than acrylic, the summation by Japr is otherwise perfect. So many designs/experiments seem geared specifically toward money shots…

    Though it’s worth nothing that if anyone could pull it off it would be Kartell. But the project just reeks of student-ish design. After seeing his other works I know he’s no amateur…let’s just forget this one ever happened.

  • Cool and comfortable!
    Now I know that the chair with a direct back can be made in 21 century!
    Progress, isn’t it?)

  • eye+

    have to see the real version, but the images seem extremely banal,.. disappointing

  • maxe

    It’s just a dream of a designer for a designer. Not a dream of a designer for people.
    It’s very very very ? It’s nothing.

  • j

    Designer and Manufacture must be realize about material first at this global warming crisis. For this reason, this is wrong at the beginning.

  • Please sit here, to avoid scratches… please remove your clothing. Thank you.

    I like this very much.

  • i usually don’t like plastic / see through furniture. it reminds me of the bad attempts done in the 70’s (Phillips stark is an exception of course)…but i must say this one is done so well and looks amazing. is it a big statement? no. will it be comfortable? probably not! but so what, it is just elegant and beautiful…(hope that in reality it will give the same effect)

  • Couldn’t this just be glass?

    Scratched polycarbonate aint invisible.

  • Simon

    Anyone who’ has ever worked with this amount of Glass, Acrylic or Polycarb would know you’d need a fork lift to move that thing.

    It may be Polycarb and may be bullet proof but it’s definitely not scratch proof! Depending on the preciousness of the user, it may be nice to see the history of the person/people left behind in the scratches applied in the seat over time. The ghost of one’s past!

  • William Zbaren

    Beautiful !

  • Prof Z

    kuramata’s son

  • travis

    Almost nothing!
    But then your butt starts to ache…
    Then it’s not nothing, it’s annoying!

  • Joe B.

    polycarbonate never looks invisible due to reflection & refraction of light on the surface plains. it just looks cheap, cold, and uninviting. the photo image with the renowned designer seated in his creation is ‘blurred’ to hide this fact.

  • Ztef

    What is is with great designers over time, take this chair, and in the meantime the champagne box from Marc Newson. It’s just to easy, no matter what the process behind it is.
    Ofcourse an object can look really umcomplicated, the process is shown in the clever solutions, but this (and marc newsons champagne box) are just stupid.

    BTW: I really love both designer, but not for these works…

  • xtiaan

    as a sculptural object its lovely
    as a chair its fails on all levels

  • designgurunyc

    yep, looks lovely (as you’d expect from Tokujin), and will no doubt be much photographed, and in many music promos, but really we all know its never really going to be sat in for more than five minutes, because, let’s face it, its uncomfortable and cushions are not an option!

  • maree

    Relax guys, it’s just a concept!

  • Irena

    And if it’s only a concept, should it have a statement worthy of exhibition, publication, production…I like the esthetics but do we need more objects without a reason. He’s creative guy can he do something meaningful and useful. Ehhh those start designers and rich companies…no comment