Nara by Shin Azumi for Fredericia

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Milan 2010: designer Shin Azumi of London and Tokyo presented a collection of wooden furniture including this horned chair for Danish brand Fredericia at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan last week. 

The project title, Nara, refers to a Japanese city famous for free-roaming deer.

The series also includes a table with the corners chopped off and a coat stand made of offcuts.

See all our stories about Milan 2010 in our special category.

The information that follows is from Shin Azumi:


NARA series by Shin Azumi

The initial concept for the ‘NARA’ series was to create minimal structure while providing a maximum level of comfort.

Shin Azumi wanted to express the sculptural beauty of solid timber and create comfortable furniture from a simple wooden structure.

Thus the NARA series pays homage to traditional Scandinavian design while at the same time creating a new aesthetic language of its own. The word ‘NARA’ is taken from the Japanese historic capital city which is famous for its free roaming, sacred deer.

NARA chair
When designing the NARA chair, Azumi first defined the top edge and vertical supports of the backrest to get the best level of comfort and to create maximum support. All superfluous material from the backrest was then removed.

The "horns" of the backrest provide the perfect place to hang a jacket, bag etc. Although initially designed from a functional and structural perspective, as an end result the image of the chair resembles that of a deer.

NARA Table
Simple detailing and an elegant aesthetic mean that the NARA table can be subtly used in combination with the NARA chair, but the table will also sit comfortably in any environment and alongside any dining chair without being too overpowering. The corners of the table have been cut off to soften what would usually be sharp edges. To create a more spacious and inviting feeling between the table legs, their internal faces are angled at 45 degrees.

NARA Coat Stand
NARA’ coat stand resembles a tree like structure, where each branch provides a place to hang an item of clothing.

During the manufacture of other furniture large amounts of waste are produced. Many small but good quality pieces of timber are often discarded. This design takes those usually wasted pieces and uses them in a maximised way, creating a beautiful and elegant coat stand with minimal material wastage.

About Shin Azumi

Shin Azumi is a London based Japanese designer who runs his own design studio: a studio. His activity covers product, furniture and space design.

Azumi's works have been published and awarded worldwide and acquired for the permanent collections of museums - such as the Victoria & Albert Museum (UK), the Stedelijk Museum (Holland), the Crafts Council (UK), the Die Neue Sammlung (Germany) and the Museum fur Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt (Germany).


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  • PC

    Top notch stuff.

  • mikaël

    every time I see a render, I instinctively try to scroll around it to watch it from different angles… never works. Am I alone?

  • The Soft Rationalist

    brilliant chair.

  • Hedgehog

    Every time I see a render, I instinctively feel sick!!! Comon you designers get your hands on things and show us your work in the real world!!! Every child can call himself a designer these days, but not every child can actually turn his mind work into the real thing.

  • s&s

    For those people who have not realised (hedgehog), half of these images are renders to show the detail of furniture. The other half are actual photographs of the finalised, fully functioning furniture launched during Milan design week this month.