Long, long ago, in the faraway land of Nara, a mythological god named Takemikazuchi came on a white deer to guard the new capital of HeijÅ-kyÅ. Since then, deer have been considered heavenly animals - protecting the city and the country - and Nara, well it turned into a chair.
Nara Chair. Designed by Shin Azumi for Fredericia.
Although this sounds much like a fairy tale, Japan's city of Nara still has deer roaming and begging for biscuits. Together, the deer and the tale of Nara were inspiration for the wooden chair designed by the London-based, Japanese designer Shin Azumi for the Danish brand Fredericia. Along with the Nara series of wooden furniture that includes a table with trimmed corners and a coat rack, the horned Nara chair trotted into the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan last week and quickly had spectators eating out of its hand. The chair's dimensions are: 83.5 cm (height) x 43.5 cm (seat height) x 49.5 cm (wide) x 53 cm (deep). It was designed after research found on the most comfortable angle of back supports on a chair to be the two that run horizontally along the spine, with the top back rest that doubles as a coat hook.
As Fredericia's Thomas Graverson says of the company that has been within their Danish family for generations, "Our ambition is to create furniture that combines the functional with the aesthetic." Besides their high expectations of quality and functional beauty then, it is no wonder they approached Shin Azumi - whose works have been acquired for permanent collections of numerous museums throughout the UK, Holland, and Germany.
Besides working with Shin Azumi, Fredericia brings other designers' fairy tales to fruition. In a recent interview with a young, hip Danish duo that make up FurnID - Bo Strange and Morten Stovegaard - they didn't disagree that their design had something to do with making their bachelor lives easier. They created the Hook Me Up system for Fredericia that allows clothing to drape nicely on a long, lean device with "blobby" hook that is enticing to delicate garments. When asked what five words describe the object itself, they responded with words that coincidentally describe the perfect woman "cool, different, humorous, colorful, and flexible!"
Never afraid to push the boundaries of fantasy with chairs that resemble deer and hooks that provoke feelings, Fredericia's line-up in Milan capitalized on the curiosities of the world without sacrificing a happy (functional) ending.