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European DIY chain HORNBACH teams up with a second globally renowned designer – Yo Shimada from Japan - to continue to make exclusive design accessible and affordable to all, with the WERKSTÜCK Edition 002, the ‘Utsuri Table’. This year’s minimalistic design reflects the current social challenge of living with less space, especially in cities.
Last year, HORNBACH started the WERKSTÜCK Editions, a series that combines do-it-yourself craftsmanship and high-end design in a completely new way. The concept is as follows: renowned designers from around the world develop designs exclusively for and with HORNBACH. The difference is this: you cannot buy them. You have to build them yourself. Investing time, rather than large amounts of money – as any other method would not be the HORNBACH way.
Following the resounding success of Sigurd Larsen’s ‘Lounge Chair’ (WERKSTÜCK 001), which inspired countless DIY enthusiasts to build it and triggered a widespread public discussion about the democratisation of design, HORNBACH is now launching the much-awaited No. 002 of the series: the ‘Utsuri Table’, designed by Yo Shimada, founder and lead designer of Tato Architects in Kōbe, Japan.
Yo Shimada’s design reflects a social development which Japan has long known, and which European cities are now experiencing: scarcer living space. The Utsuri Table is designed in a modular way, so that it can be adapted to the features of a room or a situation by allowing you to extend it and slide it back, thus changing its size and function.
“For me as a Japanese designer, the challenge was to offer something new to Europeans – something that they might not expect,” says Yo Shimada. “I asked myself, how can I use materials readily available at a DIY store, to contribute something Japanese to European DIY culture?”
The minimalistic Utsuri Table is unique not only in its function, but also in its design. Most tables attract attention by the colour, texture or design of their top surfaces, whereas here, it is the underneath which catches the eye. Neon colours on the underside of the table tops reflect subtly on the various levels of the table’s top surfaces, which are painted white. The name ‘Utsuri’ comes from this special key design element, meaning, roughly, ‘reflective’.
HORNBACH’s lead agency HEIMAT Berlin conceived and created the WERKSTÜCK Edition concept – and have been making iconic campaigns with the DIY giant for two decades. “The WERKSTÜCK Edition project is more of a vision than a conventional marketing campaign,” says Marlon Fischer, HEIMAT creative director, who is responsible for the project together with his team partner Felix Pfannmüller. Marlon Fischer adds: “At the end you have a finished piece of furniture, but before you get there you have all this interdisciplinary collaboration between the architect, carpenters, customer and agency – but above all, the DIY enthusiasts out there.”
The WERKSTÜCK 002 has its own assembly book which contains carefully illustrated, step-by-step instructions on how to build the table, as well as lists of materials and tools; it also tells the whole story of how it was created and the idea behind this piece of furniture, and a website.
“We want to give our customers the opportunity to use their craftsmanship and bring high-quality design to life,” says Thomas Schnaitmann, head of marketing and marketing communication at HORNBACH Germany. “And the WERKSTÜCK 002 is not without its DIY challenges: if you’re expecting a construction kit you can knock together quickly, this is not for you. It takes time to build the Utsuri Table and it requires precision work. But we totally trust our customers to do it.”
A high-quality box containing the assembly book, a template for cutting out the components and an authenticity plate to affix to the table, as well as a coloured card set illustrating the neon reflections, is available to order for €18 at the HORNBACH online store from 11 January onwards. The builder’s book can also be downloaded for free in digital form at www.werkstueck-edition.com
Campaign: ‘WERKSTÜCK Edition 002’
Title: Documentation of Yo Shimada’s Utsuri Table
Agency: HEIMAT, Berlin
Production: BenteleBecker Bewegtbild GmbH
Sound design: Loft sound studio Berlin
Directors: Jan Hendrik Becker, Ulrich Bentele