Snowflake by Tokujin Yoshioka
for Kartell


Milan 2010: Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka created an installation with hundreds of transparent plastic sticks at the Kartell showroom in Milan last week.

Called Snowflake, the installation displayed Yoshioka's Invisibles collection of clear plastic furniture (see our earlier story).

More about Tokujin Yoshioka at Milan 2010:

Invisibles furniture for Kartell
Memory chair for Moroso
Stellar at Swarovski Crystal Palace

See all our stories about Tokujin Yoshioka here.
See all our stories about Milan 2010 here.

The text below is from Kartell:

Kartell Gallery
The Invisibles by Tokujin Yoshioka 2010

As a special collaboration between Claudio Luti and Tokujin Yoshioka, I am presenting "The Invisibles" collections and a shop installation entitled "Snowflake". Recent years, I find myself often proposing designs, which incorporate the essence of natural phenomena and invisible elements.

The idea of the "Invisibles" initiates in the discussion I had with Mr. Claudio Luti almost two years ago. We both looked at the possibility to develop and express a new product in acrylic, which inherits the essence of optical glass bench "Water Block".

It has been thought nearly impossible to create an industrial product in acrylic of this thickness. However, their innovative techniques and motivation and challenge to create a new product with a fresh dimension to idea have made it possible.

"The Invisibles" 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.

I am drawn by things that do not have forms but leave emotional effect to people. At a glance, such material is invisible and its existence is erased. Through the interaction with light, however, the form suddenly emerges. I am fascinated not only with such phenomena, but also elements that can stir and stimulate our imagination. I also like the idea of light, which is the form of design itself.

For the installation, I will create a serene world with numerous transparent prism sticks in plastic. The accumulation of transparent sticks is tinged with white color just like real snow.I believe that the installation will offer visitors extraordinary experiences as if stepping into the snowflake.

We are living in the age when design overflows. In such age, I pondered on expressing something that does not have form or design. In other words, it is something that transcends the general idea on form and design, and provokes our emotion.

It is not to deal with forms or to make minimal forms, but to design that gets us into the work, lifts up our spirits. I would like to design something that moves even myself. Recent years, I am challenging to incorporate formless elements that appeal to our heart such as new idea, color, scent, and to design an emotion itself.

One of them is a phenomena called "light", another one is something that you cannot see, and the other one is something that has unlimited forms by transforming its appearance.

This year at Salone del Mobile, I will present works that do not obtain forms, while each work has unique characteristics.

See also:

Posted on Tuesday April 20th 2010 at 4:09 pm by Catherine Warmann. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • j

    Again! 100 transparent plastic sticks are unacceptable. We try to reduce plastic shopping bags and Kartell never stop produce plastic chairs. Please think about the world more than just fashion and trend…Be responsibility.

  • Gollumpus

    Safety glasses anyone?


  • Zaedrus

    Invisible until they meet jam-handed kids.
    Pretty cool looking brand new though.

  • Nathan

    So. Much. Plastic.

  • Will M

    Good design is for keeps- surely the ultimate eco friendly statement?

  • What is it with Japan, that there are so much cool things coming from there.

  • Capstick

    Hommage to Campana Brothers?

  • PC

    Pretty amazing waste of material.

  • joseph

    very interesting and too much plastic

  • Prof Z.

    Please help me to translate my think: “un designer installé fait des installations”

  • TR

    Well, yes, it is a waste of plastic. But It will be a waste even if made with another material, therefore doesn’t really matter if it is a waste or not if at the end it looks stunning.
    I hope they recycled it.

  • @ j says
    plastic bags are made for a limited use (1-2 times?) and to be thrown away – even as I´m not a big fan of plastic chairs – this is sth completely different and not to be compared.

  • ste

    really like the yoshiokas installation for design miami… great cloudy feel to it… this interior space is similiar at first sight but has lost all the strenghts… it looks cheap and makes people feel uncomfortable… they really failed with the plastic sticks… but in the end it fits the chairs… you can NOT transfer designs between materials and think it will remain cool.. neither in installations nor in furniture.

  • j

    My point is the plastic will stay in the earth more than your life time(It’s doesn’t matter how many times you use the plastic products) and you leave all the junk and problems to the next generation.

  • Aaron

    mucho talento

  • Rcw

    If this is a waste of material, then I don’t know what Heatherwick’s British Pavilion at the expo is?

    But they are both stunning objects

  • GosiaG

    plastic stinks ! looks pretty , but what to do with it afterwards? stupido ! stiupid stiupid design! hate it!

  • dougo

    It is perfect that this is a display window, it makes a beautiful one. The chairs as well are just display items, not really chairs but an accessory for fashion shoots and lifestyle signifying.

  • visualmess

    this kinda stuff has been developped at the architectural association years ago. but, well, it’s white.

  • MAI

    People from the states should be the last to talk about recycle!!!

  • Who’s to say these plastic rods are going to be thrown out anyway? They will probably just be used in the next Kartell installation anyway.

  • tk

    I think they only look great when the floor is lit.

  • marumaru

    I don’t see wastage at the moment, who said they’re not going to reuse or recycle it?

    Yoshioka san always do a good job, very delicate and sensitive.

  • hyslz

    heard all plastics of the kartell stuffs are recyclable…guess they wouldn’t be so stupid to make such a huge installation without thinking about being eco-friendly.

  • Material should be glass. LCD monitors have exactly the same looking glass tubes inside. Time to recycle them.
    Or make a natural version with branches. ( easier to construct)
    Otherwise I love it!
    Christmas living room. The space what is impossible to invade, sharp and fascinating, light and meaningful like a piece of lace.

  • zoe liu

    it’s easy to do in that way…you know,more visual effect, less inner thought included.

  • Wow that’s amazing, it really does look like the glass of the showroom is freezing. Kartell show that you can create fully recyclable products. I’m not sure what j is talking about, at least these products can be recycled. In my opinion its better than chopping down an 800 year Oak tree to make a sofa.