Japanese maker Karimoku New Standard’s signature polygonal table takes on a new guise with an unadorned version in naturally whitened chestnut wood. Previously, designers Scholten & Baijings applied graphic accents—ranging from soft pastels to their trademark fluorescent pink—to the so-named Colour collection. Now the unembellished model puts the focus solely on form, with the barrel-like base made of individual laths that are connected at intricate angles inspired by the traditional wood joint technique “yatoi-sanetsugi.” And the hardwood is selected from underused low-diameter trees, in order to preserve and revitalize the country’s forests.
- Small: 17.8" h x 19.9" w x 19.8" dia (45.2x50.5x50.3cm)
- Medium: 15.4" h x 23.7" w x 23.6" dia (39.1x 60.2x59.9cm)
- Large: 12.9" h x 28.2" w x 28" dia (32.8x71.6x71.1cm)
- X Large: 12.8" h x 35.2" w x 35" dia (32.5x89.4x89cm)
Karimoku New Standard
It has always been about the wood. Shohei Kato opened a small woodworking shop in 1940 from a longstanding timber firm he acquired in Kariya. The first letters of the town name combined with “moku,” as in “mokuzai” ( “wood”) provided the brand name. Furniture followed within 2 decades, along with several brands under the Karimoku umbrella. Then in 2009, with his grandson Hiroshi Kato as vice president, the Karimoku New Standard branch launched to develop works with international designers in the modern design arena.
The star roster includes Swedish studio TAF, the Swiss team Big-Game and Dutch duo Scholten & Baijings. Among them is David Glaettli, who also serves as KNS brand creative director and dubbed its credo as “high-tech and high-touch.” The highly skilled Japanese carpentry and hand-applied painting that are a part of the parent company heritage are integral to KNS. It also looks forward, revitalizing native forests by targeting undervalued, sustainably grown hardwoods. Advanced technologies have elevated the low-diameter chestnut, maple and oak trees, once turned into wood chips for paper pulp, into something of lasting beauty. The aim, notes Hiroshi, is “furniture that will be used and loved for more than 100 years.”
Scholten & Baijings
“Stefan is really good at the big picture. I’m good at the details,” says Carole Baijings of her design partnership with Stefan Scholten, which grew out of the Dutch couple’s relationship. Though she is self-educated and Stefan studied at the Design Academy Eindhoven, “as our lives came together, working together was a natural progression, ” Carole says.
Now, more than 10 years later, Scholten & Baijings’ light-filled studio overlooks Amsterdam’s harbor and their work, with its unusual color choices and layered gradations of tone, is instantly recognizable. Collaborating with a who’s who of illustrious contemporary brands worldwide, from Hay in Denmark to Karimoku New Standard in Japan, their product range includes textiles, glass and furniture. “We work more like artists,” Carole says. “We start with materials and colors and then try to create a shape or a design. It’s a different approach than starting with a word or a concept or an idea.”