Future Interiors

Stool Pants -- are they pants for pooing or perching? Stool Pants is the witty name given to shorts which enable the wearer to sit down anywhere in comfort. They are plastic pants with an inflatable behind. Anyone who has suffered "rigor mortis" in the lower body after a dinner on tatami mats will understand the need for a pair. Ready-to-wear furniture, chairs where there are no seats, wet suits for tables and the Thalidomide Chair, are all part of "Future Interiors," an exhibition of contemporary design on show at Gallery Speak For. Seven designers from around the world show their latest examples of innovative thinking and design problem solving.

Wandering along the fashion conscious streets of Daikanyama, where Gallery Speak For is hidden under a shoe and fashion outlet, one tends to forget that clothing has/had a practical purpose -- warmth and protection. ixi designs, the designers of the Stool Pants, break the traditional fashion mold and take an innovative look at what we wear and why. Their designs add further function to fashion when they combine it with furniture. Truly ergonomic, to ease our loads anywhere, anytime. (http://www2.neweb.ne.jp/wd/ixilab)

The work by Shin Products could best be described as tablewear (sic) -- clothes for your tables and chairs. They have created a range of neoprene covered tables and chairs. The products are stylish and practical. Table covers are colorful, waterproof and non-slip, and chair covers are soft. It is a simple use of materials to suit contemporary lifestyles which involve inside and outside living.
"Huken" is a basic "chair" where there is no chair. It is a stand for squatting. Beautifully crafted in oak, a Huken is a small ramp shape, designed to enable people to squat more comfortably. It reduces the angle for the ankle and assists the modern Achilles tendon which is no longer capable of handling the big stretch involved in the traditional squat. The Huken also offers a bit of spring and a glorious, slatted wooden construction. Aptly described by its makers, "Futurniture" a radical group of Swedish architects, as "straight back to the future." (http://www.futurniture.se/) Douglas Coupland's "Thalidomide Chair" is a beautiful piece of furniture construction but not something to sit on. More like a star-shaped sculpture, the title makes a sharp point to match the form. Coupland is perhaps best known for his writings as a media critic and his book on "Microsoft." (http://www.Coupland.com) Future Interiors contains the work of architects, furniture and textile designers and will be featured in a special edition of the Tokyo-published visual magazine, Petit Glam. Go along and get a sneak preview of the creative thinking that is shaping the future today

Photograph Johan Warden

Gallery Speak For 28-2 Sarugaku-cho B2F Shibuya-ku Nearest station Daikanyama Tel: 03.5459.6385 Open: 11:00 to 20:00, Closed Mondays ---- through December 3