This year’s Designs of the Year furniture selections are an impressive bunch, but the most mind-blowing comes from Yuya Ushida, whose XXXX sofa looks a bit like your living room’s worst nightmare – black, spiky, and frankly a bit foreboding. But fear not, this confounding item is the latest in an ongoing project developed by Ushida while still at design school in the Netherlands. Using a sequence of sticks and rings which clip together like Lego (only on a much bigger scale), the XXXX furniture line can expand and contract to various sizes while retaining its structural integrity (check out this video).
The parts themselves are molded from recycled plastic, and each sofa alone is created from 10,000 interlocking sequences. The method, by its nature, is incredibly versatile – not only can larger pieces be “squashed” into smaller ones, Ushida has also developed beds, benches, and even take-home kits which allow customers to build a little stool at their own leisure.
Minimalism reigned supreme with the rest of the nominees, and design studios throughout the world are after that holy grail of bare essentialism meets innovative materiality.
German designer Stefan Diez utilised vehicle manufacturing technology to create the frame for his Chassis chair for Wilkhahn, while Jasper Morrison’s Lightwood chair for Japan-based Maruni looks like it might get swept away by a gentle breeze.
Also nominated were the Tip Ton chairs by Barber and Osgerby (whose promotion video is a thing of majesty and was featured on the site in April), as well as the Bouroullec brothers’ Textile Field at the V&A, and even a nod for Bethan Laura Wood’s brilliant Moon Rock Tables which we showcased in INT magazine Issue 7. Nice one!
See the rest of our Designs of the Year reviews here.