Dezeen promotion: Japanese furniture brand Maruni Wood Industry will launch new furniture, including two wood-framed sofas, at Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan next week.
Maruni will be exhibiting a range of wooden furniture by Naoto Fukasawa and Jasper Morrison from its collection, alongside new products.
Maruni art director and industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa has created the first new sofa with a curved upholstered back that gently wraps around the body. The seat is also upholstered and rests on a simple wooden frame.
The Roundish sofa is a version of a chair Fukasawa designed for Maruni in 2011.
Maruni will also showcase the new Bruno sofa by British designer Jasper Morrison, which features full rounded cushions on a bench-like wooden frame.
Morrison also designed the Lightwood chair for Maruni in 2011.
The sofas are upholstered in Kvadrat fabrics newly acquired by Maruni: smoky green and navy.
The items have been made using woodworking techniques derived from handcrafting, shown in the movie above.
The Maruni Collection 2014 will be on show at Stand D33, Hall 6, at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan from 8 to 13 April 2014.
For more information about Maruni Wood Industry and its products, visit the website.
Here's some more information from Maruni Wood Industry:
Maruni Collection 2014 by Maruni Wood Industry at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile
With Maruni Collection 2014, we will be introducing attractive living items by Jasper Morrison and Naoto Fukasawa at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in the Fiera main exhibition complex.
Maruni Collection 2014 Jasper Morrison and Naoto Fukasawa
Date: April 8 (Tue) - 13 (Sun), 2014
Venue: Rho Fiera, Hall 6, Stand D33
Press Reception: April 8 (Tue), 2014, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
What is "Maruni Wood Industry"?
It is a Japanese furniture brand that continues to create sophisticated minimalism design with minute manufacturing to rediscover original spirits of the wood.
Maruni was founded in Hiroshima in 1928 with the motto of "industrialise handcrafting". Hiroshima has a long history of lifestyle involving wood, from building structures such as Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines to private dwellings, as well as tools and artefacts that we use in our everyday lives. Although Japanese furniture production previously relied on manual labor, Maruni was one of the first to start the mass-production of furniture by the division of labor that does not rely on manual skills of artisans, aiming to "industrialise handcrafting".
After the Second World War, Maruni Wood Industry made improvements in various production stages; for example, applying new techniques such as advanced kilning system for drying wood acquired by research and development, and learning streamlined production methods developed in Europe. These improvements brought great success to Maruni in the large-scale production of decorative European furniture, allowing it to become a leading brand of classical furniture in Japan, and grow into a high-quality furniture brand known for its traditional beauty. However, as time passes, the needs for classical furniture started to decrease in Japan, driving Maruni to develop a new line of core products.
Thus, the "Nextmaruni" project began in 2004. In this approach, Maruni aimed to introduce a series of chairs to the world with the theme of "message directed towards the Japanese aesthetic", by collaborating with 12 globally recognised designers such as Alberto Meda, Michele De Lucchi, and so on.
This project proved to be a significant turning point for Maruni, because it was the first time it encountered Naoto Fukasawa, who later became an art director of the company. Fukasawa and Maruni deeply shared the enthusiasm to "create timeless wooden furniture that will be loved by people as a standard in a hundred years' time". This desire gave birth to Maruni Collection in 2008 as a coproduction of the designer and Maruni.
"Wooden chairs, that have been the worldwide standard, have a sense of warmth as a craftwork, rather than a designed product. What this collection aims to present, is this humane warmth combined with subtlety and purity," Naoto Fukasawa says. In order to produce high-quality standard furniture, it is vital to have technology rooted in a thorough knowledge of wood and furniture production. It encompasses not only the form of the furniture, but also the seating comfort, the combination of robust structure and lightness for easy handling, and delicate finishing that brings out the most of the wood quality.
One of Maruni's distinguished technologies recognised by designers is shaving processing technology, enables a machine to take care of complex processing procedures that previously relied on craftsmen’s manual work, contributing to high-volume production. But, in the final process, the chairs are manually polished and finished one by one. The mellow, smooth curve of Hiroshima armchair from its back to arms produces a soft, gentle atmosphere that invites people to touch. While pursuing industrialisation, Maruni has kept the balance of stable production and beauty of craftwork, by leveraging the technology and knowledge of woodwork inherited from hand to hand. You can see the spirit of "manufacturing with craftsmanship", which has been Maruni's tradition since its foundation.
Maruni started Maruni Collection in 2008, and welcomed Naoto Fukasawa as an art director in 2010. Jasper Morrison also joined Maruni as a designer in 2011, and this collection has grown up for covering 25 countries worldwide. The products are genuinely original to Maruni, combining the international design sensibility, uniquely Japanese aesthetics of wood material, and the detailed manufacturing techniques. They are the furniture that Maruni proudly presents to the world from Japan as a beautiful fruit of fine craftsmanship. Maruni will never stop its journey to reach even higher, producing beautiful furniture in Japan that will be long enjoyed as ultimate standards.