Design Knowledge Intermediary
Drawer in an Irregular Form

Drawer in an Irregular Form, 1970
Cappellini SpA, Italy

Shiro Kuramata

Lacquered wood, aluminium

W 63 cm, H 170 cm, D 50 cm


With this piece, perhaps his best-known and certainly the most copied, Kuramata redefines a conventional chest of drawers. Why, he asks, should we assume that drawers must always be rectangular?

Using undulating curves, he takes one of the most stolid of furniture types and endows it with life. Breaking out of an expected and usually rigid geometry, Furniture in Irregular Forms seems to dance; with coasters instead of feet, it both suggests and literally incorporates movement and versatility.

Kuramata did not talk much, but he liked to make people laugh. He wanted to surprise and subvert 'common sense'. For him, function need not define the form of furniture, nor did the utility of an object necessarily derive from its rational function. This sense of humour liberates a chest of drawers from its traditional form.

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