Watches are a feat of modern engineering—a machine that's precise to the second, and so small you can wear it on your wrist!—yet they're so tiny, most people who wear one probably don't have the faintest idea how it works. In Cartier Time Art, Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka uses time and space to explore and explain the craft of watchmaking in a gorgeous installation currently on view at the Bellerive Museum, Ein Haus des Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, in Switzerland.
Tokujin Yoshioka is best known for his stirring, mystical furniture and product designs. But he's less interested in what's there than what isn't. He's interested in formlessness. "I was not interested in designing the shape of a chair, I was interested in designing the function of seating," he told us the other day, sitting in his hazy "Twilight" exhibit at the Moroso showroom in Milan.
To prepare for this latest collaboration in seating, Yoshioka did research and collected data on the way people sit and what they actually do in chairs.
With the 2011 Milan Furniture Fair just weeks away, our inboxes are filling up with breathless press releases on groundbreaking chairs! Revolutionary couches! Mind-bending dish racks! So far, though, everything's been pretty... meh.
One glowing exception: Tokujin Yoshioka's new Invisibles Light series for Kartell, which looks like a furniture set sprung from the hands of Houdini.
Designers are rebelling against the notion of pristine objects. This year at Milan's Furniture Fair, that trend is on full display. But it's actually an ancient idea. For hundreds of years, Japan's dominant aesthetic has been wabi sabi, which values the impermanent, imperfect, and incomplete. You know wabi sabi, if you've ever been to Japan or seen Japanese design—it's the rationale behind the mottled, asymmetric design in traditional houses, pottery, and gardens.