Karimoku x Norm Architects
As a very big fan of Norm Architects I am very excited about this new Karimoku x Norm Architects collaboration. Norm Architects have designed a series of furniture for an interior renovation project in Tokyo. The furniture is designed in collaboration with Japan’s largest wooden furniture manufacturer, Karimoku, with Keiji Ashizawa Design and Torafu Architects having also participated in the workshops, designing furniture for specific spaces, including a private home and office space.
Karimoku is the largest wooden furniture manufacturer in Japan. Founded in 1940, Karimoku was established in Chita-gun, Aichi Prefecture as “Kariya Tim- ber Industry” in 1947. Originally a producer of weaving machines and wooden parts for exported furniture, Karimoku, through the use of high-precision pro- cessing technology and an expert knowledge of materials, has been producing domestic furniture since 1962. Every single piece of furniture and wood prod- uct is created in a vast factory of about 13,000 square meters full of the latest machines and craftsmen. There is no wooden product they cannot make. It’s truly wonderland of craftsmanship.
“Passion has been the keyword in this process. For a project to succeed, you need people to invest themselves in it—and the Karimoku collaboration is an excellent example of that” – Frederik Werner, Norm Architects
The result of the Karimoku x Norm Architects collaboration is a series of functional, high quality wooden furniture carrying references to both Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetics and design traditions.
Out of the four pieces of furniture, this coffee tabel is my favorite. The slight but precise spacing between each wooden el- ement in this coffee table is inspired by Japanese temples, shrines and traditional architecture, allowing the light to travel through beautifully. The stone top carries references to the minimalist designs of famous Danish designer Poul Kjærholm.
A hybrid between the Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetics emerged when working on the dining chair, using existing parts found in the factories of Karimoku. The result is a classic, minimal piece of furniture with a warm look.
Playing with the dimensions of the dining table, we’ve experimented with the balance between lightness and heaviness, making it paper-thin when seen from some angles and more robust from others, emphasizing the materials.
Photos © Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen, Masaki Ogawa