Living Café: Memo Furniture x Fulcrum Coffee, Kino Stool
Inspired by the usefulness of a simple stool and its ability to perform many roles, Kino is a stack-able object whose functionality is both endless and timeless. Most cafés have a stool that adapts to groups, backpacks, shopping bags, working, and coffee and food. Extending our collaboration to stools, after Penna and Chroma seating, was the next big step in this amazing partnership.
The Meaning of Kino
Kino, which directly translates to “made of wood” in Japanese, was conceived for our Memo Furniture collaboration, by the Japanese designer Kensaku Oshiro. Blending Oshiro’s unique way of thinking and the culture of Seattle-based Memo, Kino is a contemporary sculptural expression that honors the tradition of craft while complying to the constraints of serial production.
Milan-based Kensaku Oshiro was born in Okinawa, Japan in 1977. From an early age, he developed an interest in creative professions that allowed him to express his own ideas and think anew; Oshiro sought-out a sense of freedom. His roots in Okinawa, where the beauty and persistence of nature are part of the everyday, are intertwined with his urban experiences in the industrial center of Milan, where his studio and practices reside. These cultural backdrops form Oshiro’s unique approach to design, one that carries with it a feeling of freedom, and sits between the opportunity of industry and the elegance of nature.
A Way of Thinking
Kino expresses Oshiro’s way of thinking. His approach to design is in fact rooted in the idea of “thought” rather than more conventional starting places such as function and materials, which naturally follow. With Kino, Oshiro wanted to reveal lightness in contrast with the solidity of a structure – a thought that was inspired by his travels to Seattle and observing the character of the surprisingly low sunlight which cast shadows in unique ways. The experience of light and shadow prompted the shapes and geometry of Kino, which changes as you experience the stool from different angles.
A Reflection of Craftsmanship
Oshiro believes that craftsmanship is essential in human society and plays an important role in development of a civilization. Kino, as a designed and manufactured product, preserves these values and enables artisan know-how to collide with industrialized production. Craft attributes reach end-users through details that are front and center. This is highlighted by the signature of the leg to the top, where the two elements mirror the curvature of each other with intent and craft.
Living Café Series
The Kino Stool is the third product collection in our Living Café Series. The Living Café is a curated ensemble of design forward products. Memo x Fulcrum hopes to pioneer an approach to café interiors that offers an inspiring and dynamic environment to experience contemporary furnishings and premium coffees.