Who knew the same designer to do the Swarovski flagship store in Tokyo would decide to do a natural looking tile for the Italian tile company, Mutina? To the untrained eye, it may seem that the like the glitz and glamour of Swarovski might clash with the very elemental design of Mutina. But on the contrary, Tokujin Yoshioka has risen to the challenge. With the collection he calls Phenomenon, the Shiro Kuramata- and Issey Miyake-trained designer has perhaps found his new outlet for creative expression through a completely new medium: ceramic.
At Cersaie 2011 - the international exhibition of ceramic tiles and bathroom fixtures hosted by Italy's beautiful city of Bologna - Yoshioka was introduced as a new designer working with Mutina. A company known for success in high profile collaborations with designers like Patricia Urquiola, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, and Benedini Associati among others, they've always stood out from the pack of gleaming stone tiles or colorful patterned mosaic tiles. In fact, Mutina is best known for a lack of color, sticking to neutrals. Their focus finds itself in the structure, the textures, and the sometimes hexagonal cuts of the tiles.
Phenomenon. Designed by Tokujin Yoshioka for Mutina.
Yoshioka's Phenomenon is a collection of three styles: Rain, Honey-comb, and Snow. He integrated smaller ceramics in thick textures that feel luxurious and gritty at the same time. With that, each of the styles were created to represent different ways we feel and view our surroundings.
Since his work is already present in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in NYC, the Centre National d'Art et de Culture, Georges Pompidou, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, and the Vitra Museum, it's an honor to see his stroke of genius on the mass-produced, high quality ceramic tiles of Mutina.