Kaspar Hamacher’s The Leather Belt and the Book Stack

There has been no shortage of shelving in contemporary design lately, but until now, designers haven't rethought the actual functionality. Young designer Kaspar Hamacher's fresh look at the bookshelf, deploying a new interpretation of the design principle wherein form follows function. Kaspar Hamacher’s two creations, The Leather Belt and The Book Stack, are two inventive product designs where delightfully, no bookends are required.

The Leather Belt. Designed by Kaspar Hamacher.

Abandon any preconceptions you have about bookshelves (yes, horizontal slabs stacked one over another) and think outside the proverbial box. The Leather Belt, as its materiality suggests, is flexible both literally and figuratively. Accommodating a book of any size or shape – be it a short stack or a tower – the shelf varies in width and height depending upon how objects occupy its interior space. Stacking and verticality, two terms not often associated with book storage, define this new design. Leather and the force of gravity come together to give us a new way to store our books, beautifully. 

Kaspar Hamacher’s The Leather Belt and the Book Stack

Kaspar Hamacher’s The Leather Belt and the Book Stack

The Board. Designed by Kaspar Hamacher.

The leather belt has enjoyed significant press coverage, especially given that Hamacher (age 27) has just recently graduated from ABK Maastricht with a degree in product design and to date, is still deemed somewhat of an emerging name in the international design scene. As his biography notes, Hamacher was born in Eupen (Belgium) in 1981, "as the second son of a forester, in the middle of the woods." He was educated as a carpenter prior to beginning studies in product design. His work embodies material integrity and a connection to nature, an obvious reflection of his formative background. According to Hamacher, "The difference between the purely natural and the technological produced can be clearly felt. There are things that cannot be copied such as the warmth of wood, the smell and touch of leather, the individuality that cannot be imitated."

Not to be ignored is Hamacher's second book storage design, appropriately called The Board. Although this design is more aesthetically similar to the traditional bookshelf, its innovative functionality eliminates the need for bookends, as with the Leather Belt. The Board's concave surface enables the books to be self supporting is they can easily lean into one another.

Kaspar Hamacher will be presenting his products at the 2009 edition of Salone del Mobile in Milan, taking place April 22-27. We're convinced that the purity and simplicity which characterize these elegant innovations will continue to be a common thread in his later works and we wait with great anticipation to see what comes next from this veritably talented young designer.

via Designboom

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