Welcome to issue 10 of our Journal, East Meets West. This edition celebrates Japanese interiors and brands, demonstrating the rich heritage and influence Japanese techniques and culture have on the landscape of modern British design.
Issue 10 | tedtodd.co.uk EAST MEETS WEST JOURNAL
MAKER TO MAKER
Experimental maker and a well-known name in contemporary British craft, Gareth Neal has specialised in bespoke wood furniture since the 1990s. As an award-winning artisan furniture maker, Gareth strives to combine traditional techniques with digital technology to push the boundaries of what’s possible. He is passionate about respecting the process, understanding the material, and enjoys working collaboratively with others to create bespoke pieces that are celebrated across the world. Gareth currently runs his own progressive design practice in East London. garethneal.co.uk | @garethnealfurniture
WELCOME The seasons are starting to change. It’s time to embrace new beginnings, cleanse the previous year and welcome Japan’s most notable season: spring! In our latest Journal you’ll discover Japanese interiors, brand new floors and cultural techniques collated to inspire you on your own Japanese journey. The articles are a celebration of East meets West design fusion and demonstrate the rich heritage and influence Japanese techniques and culture have on the landscape of modern British design.
HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE WHAT YOU DO? Primarily I consider myself a designer-maker. I believe good craft and design stretch beyond learned techniques; I try to ensure my work harmoniously unites traditional and digital techniques to create uniquely crafted pieces. By approaching objects with an understanding of the wider impact they create; where materials are sourced, how something is made to create original, visually interesting, and thought-provoking ideas, whilst being environmentally sound and beautiful. CAN YOU TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS? Throughout my career I have continually explored digital manufacturing techniques alongside traditional craft processes, trying to push the boundaries of what these tools can enable and what can be created when the two are used in unison. This balance between craft and modern technology has led to the formulation of some of my most engaging work - highlighting this unique blend. In essence, this repositions traditional craft techniques for a modern audience.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY MAKING? For the past year, I have been experimenting with recycled plastic and 3D printing polymer with a robot arm, creating complex prints inspired by the movements found in traditional craft techniques such as willow weaving and crochet. We have developed new and unique methods for using these tools to build complex open-weave forms and structures. Whilst this work is totally different from what I usually do, it has been great to change things up and learn about new processes and ways of working, whilst also paying homage to traditional crafts with a material resource that is currently founded on yet we have piles of. YOUR HACK CHAIR SERIES USES SHOU SUGI BAN CHARRING, WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THIS TRADITIONAL JAPANESE TECHNIQUE? I chose to use the Shou Sugi Ban charring process on the Hack Chairs as it enhances the character of the natural beauty of these pieces of timber. I also love it because it creates a silhouette of the piece highlighting the traditional form of the chair. The charring also has practical benefits, such as protecting the wood from fungus with a layer of carbon.
There is nothing new except what has been forgotten.
Today, modern interiors are free from fixed trends and fashionable interior styles.
More than ever, we embrace the beauty of blending ideas taken from different cultures and periods in history to create a kaleidoscope of designs that reflect our own (or our clients) style and needs. This layering process often evokes the revival of old techniques and the reinvention of proven methods that bring spaces to life in a new way. We hope you enjoy our Journal, as always, we welcome your feedback email@example.com
To read the full interview visit tedtodd.co.uk/journal
Image credits clockwise: Gareth Neal Portrait - James Champion Charring the Hack Chair - Petr Krejci The Hack Chair II - Petr Krejci
Tattu: Ebony Superwide Herringbone
Katie Hudghton Head of Marketing
THE ART OF YAKISUGI
AESTHETIC APPEAL Currently trending in modern architecture, you can expect the revival of this centuries old practice to be seen in exterior and interior designs alike. Different effects can be achieved depending on wood species, burn intensity, texture and finishes - which all serve to highlight the natural beauty of wood grain in a unique way. This bold choice provides the ideal aesthetic for walls and floor in both rustic and contemporary spaces. Plus, the surface design of Yakisugi wood allows it to be mixed with a multitude of different materials and finishes with ease. This technique is ideal for applications and designs that require character of wood with a little more intrigue.
‘Yaki’ means burn with fire, ‘sugi’ means cedar. It is a traditional Japanese method of charring the surface of cedar boards to preserve them. 焼 杉
A BRIEF HISTORY An increasing number of Western architects and designers are incorporating dark charred notes into their concepts by using a process resulting in Yakisugi; a centuries-old Japanese technique for preserving and finishing wood. Since the early 1700s the technique has been used by the construction industry to improve the strength and imperviousness of wood, which was originally used as natural cladding and weatherproofing Japanese buildings. In the Western world, Yakisugi is known as Shou Sugi Ban. This came into being after the Japanese word was misread. The mistranslation occurred when the compound word was read in a mix of Japanese and Chinese pronunciation and thus Yakisugi become synonymous with Shou Sugi Ban. Interestingly, up to the 1970s Yakisugi was seen as provincial, used only for farm buildings or traditional villages. The resurgence in this centuries old technique can be attributed to contemporary architects including Terunobu Fujimori, known for his Yakisugi House (shown on right).
PRACTICAL BENEFITS This surface carbonisation process interestingly strengthens (as opposed to damages) the natural material. By removing moisture from the wood, you are left with improved hardness and durability. Additionally, when wood is charred it becomes more water resistant as the process closes the timber pores. Being a natural way to darken wood, the whole technique is very environmentally friendly. There are no chemicals used in our Yakisugi flooring so they have low VOC levels meaning they aren’t harmful to people or the planet. As a totally sustainable solution, at the end of the floors life cycle, they can be fully recycled, like our Woodworks Carbonised collection, which you can explore on page 8.
Image credits Yakisugi House by Terunobu Fujimori - Flickr Rachel Harmon Inhouse Yakisugi process
Woodworks Carbonised collection Images clockwise from top right Augite Plank Obsidian Plank Agate Checkerboard Hematite Parquet de Ardeche Jet Parquet de Versailles
C I N N A B A R
Z I R CON
N A T U R A L WON D E R
I N K Y B L A C K
P E A R L
G A R N E T
E T H E R E A L WH I T E
P I Q U I N G P I N K
We only use the very best new, reclaimed, and antique woods for our Woodworks Carbonised collection. Creating Yakisugi surfaces is incredibly challenging, but our artisans assure that each piece is carefully charred to perfection. Once charred, the wood is cleaned and treated with natural oils and lacquers to create a dramatic visual style and unique tactile feel. Carbonised now features an ever-evolving collection of burnt and weathered tones for floors, interior cladding, and other decorative surfaces. Choose from the natural wonder Cinnabar, inky black Zircon, ethereal white Pearl, and piquing pink Garnet – all of which are new arrivals in the Yakisugi world. Traditionally, Cypress wood – which can be found in Japan in abundance – was used in years gone by. However, our new timbers are created using the very best European Larch, chosen for its strength and durability. These striking statement showpieces may have historic roots but are set to be future design classic. To discuss specifying these floors for your project, call 020 8629 3056. CHARRED TO PERFECTION WOODWORKS CARBONISED COLLECTION
HANDCRAFTED USING YAKISUGI, THE WOODWORKS CARBONISED COLLECTION COMBINES JAPANESE TRADITION WITH MODERN INNOVATION.
Pearl Extra Wide Plank (top) Zircon Extra Wide Plank (bottom)
JAPANESE DESIGN PRINCIPLES
No matter how advanced society becomes, institutionally or technologically, a house in which nature can be sensed represents for me the ideal environment in which to live.
Tadao Ando, Renowned contemporary Japanese architect
FUKINSEI IF YOU LOVE: IRREGULARITY & ZEN AESTHETIC Fukinsei is a principle that revolves around asymmetry and irregularity. Contrary to how it sounds, the use of asymmetry doesn’t mean that a space will look unbalanced and it can actually have the opposite effect. Fukinsei can be achieved by introducing abstract art into your space, as the essence of this style is free and dynamic, with no set rules. Organic materials, like wood are naturally asymmetrical which means that no single piece will ever be the same and reveal any visible repeats. Additionally, by painting your walls white to create a pristine space, the Fukinsei philosophy invites you to prepare for the inevitable wear and tear that occurs through everyday life. It encourages these irregularities
INTERIOR STYLING WITH TED TODD
Japanese design extends much further than the aesthetics of a project, it also takes into consideration ancient philosophies and modern cultures. In turn this allows a space to give off feelings such as stillness, nature or simplicity, depending on the effect you want to achieve. WABI-SABI IF YOU LOVE: IMPERFECTIONS & TEXTURE The principle of ‘wabi-sabi’ refers to finding beauty in imperfections, embracing the natural cycle of growth and recognising how the passing of time can age or alter something in a positive manner. Wabi-sabi is a philosophy that we admire and respect at Ted Todd, so much so that we have developed a process that emulates the look of ageing. Our new Crafted Textures wood floors have been intentionally sawn, heavily brushed and burnt - a unique process that authentically ages each board, creating a time- worn look full of personality and charm. Working with a natural material like wood means that we often come across imperfections such as knots, sap and irregular grain, which all contribute to the wabi-sabi way. PAIR WITH: STANDEN NARROW HERRINGBONE, CRAFTED TEXTURES COLLECTION
To truly appreciate Japanese styling within an interior it’s beneficial to first understand some of the key Japanese design principles. Here, we explore 4 key philosophies and how they can be applied to perfectly style a home or shared space.
to be embraced as part of your interior styling. PAIR WITH: SHERINGHAM WIDE PLANK, CRAFTED TEXTURES COLLECTION
Sheringham Wide Plank
Standen Narrow Herringbone
DATSUZOKU IF YOU LOVE: UNCONVENTIONALITY & CREATIVITY
Connected to Zen Buddhism, Datsuzoku represents ‘freedom from habit or formula’ and challenges conventions in order to observe and practice creativity. It encourages you to break away from traditional ideologies, be exploratory, and embrace uniqueness. You can take this principle further by laying your floor in an unconventional pattern, moving away from the expected traditional plank or herringbone style. At Ted Todd we adopt the concept of Datsuzoku when developing Crafted Textures floors, our team strive to step away from the ordinary, to create something authentic. When applying Datsuzoku to your project there are no limitations, it is the perfect opportunity to be bold and experimental without any boundaries or restraints. PAIR WITH: DUNHAM NARROW HERRINGBONE, CRAFTED TEXTURES COLLECTION
Swinley Wide Plank
SHIZEN IF YOU LOVE: SIMPLICITY & NATURALNESS The aesthetic concept of ‘Shizen’ relates to the absence of artificiality and promotes the purposeful implementation of nature into a space. In its simplest form this can be the inclusion of plants and greenery into an interior. Shizen can also be achieved architecturally by integrating sunlight through lightwells and large windows, or reflection inducing objects such as mirrors and white walls. These are all factors that allow you to connect with nature. Bringing elements of the outside in, you can encourage an increased sense of health and well-being. Using a natural wood floor is an easy way to adopt the Shizen style into your space.
To read the full article visit tedtodd.co.uk/journal
Contact us to order a sample of any of these floors
PAIR WITH: SWINLEY WIDE PLANK, CRAFTED TEXTURES COLLECTION
Dunham Narrow Herringbone
SOHO LOFT JAPANESE PHILOSOPHY MEETS SCANDINAVIAN SENSIBILITY
Location: London, W1 Architect: Black & Milk
Floor: Ashridge Plank (shown finished), Unfinished Oaks London is home to many converted warehouses which offer a desirable combination of historical interest, unique industrial features, and contemporary design-led interiors. A prime example of a gorgeous warehouse renovation is Soho Loft, located in the heart of London’s West End. The apartment has been fully renovated into a tranquil space away from the bustle of London life and uses natural materials, a neutral colour palette, and a lot of light to create a Japandi haven. Floor-to-ceiling windows let in an array of natural light, and the Japanese rice paper doors, along with the clean lines brings balance of function and form to the scheme, contributing to the Feng Shui energy of the interior arrangement. Japandi, which is a mix of Japanese and Scandinavian designs is influenced by the Japanese wabi-sabi philosophy which denotes a lifestyle with a connection to nature and celebrates imperfections (learn more about this philosophy on page 10). The use of the FSC ® -certified Ted Todd natural wood floor - Ashridge - aligns with these philosophies perfectly. Image Credit: Philip Durrant
BENIHANA A UNIQUE AND IMMERSIVE JAPANESE DINING EXPERIENCE
Location: London, WC2 Designer: La Villaine Floor: Tattenhall Wide Plank, Project Collection
Natural materials underpin the entire scheme – a characteristic synonymous with Japanese interiors. As such two of our Ted Todd floors, Ollerton and Tattenhall, were chosen for the project. The interior brings together key elements of Japanese design. Lighting and texture are used to elevate the space and clean materials demonstrate an appreciation of beauty. The energetic ambiance of the scheme is a perfect blend of Japanese aesthetics and unique design required for a modern Asian restaurant. Image Credit: Benihana
With its heritage firmly rooted in Japanese culture, Benihana in Covent Garden offers its customers a unique and flamboyant Teppanyaki dining experience. A cool brand with a strong internationally renowned identity, the development of its new £2m restaurant required a bold interpretation of an established style.
Contact us to order a sample
WITH CHIKAKO KANAMOTO DESIGNER PROFILE
INFLUENCES Kyoto, where I grew up, is an urban city with the incredibly profound history and original culture. While surrounded by mountains, the river running through the city centre offers easy access to some beautiful nature scenes. Traditional and contemporary architecture co-exists harmoniously in this unique context. Discovering the beauty in the integration of the old and new, and the complementary interaction between architecture and nature strongly inspires me.
BIOGRAPHY I was born and raised in Kyoto until I moved to the UK when I was still a student. Following the completion of my Architectural Degree, I moved to Tokyo to start my career in Architecture. Three years later, I returned to the UK to obtain my Diploma in Architecture, and after graduating, I worked for several practices in London before I founded my own studio for architecture, interior and design in 2019. I am qualified as an architect both in the UK and Japan. studiochik.com
KEY PRINCIPLES Embracing the change in climate and the nature of the four seasons is embedded in Japanese traditional cultural heritage, and the Japanese sense of beauty is somehow rooted in nature. Over the years Japanese building design has developed and increasingly conveys the seasonal characteristics both functionally and aesthetically. The essence of the Japanese craft, to me, is the attention to fine details, the material character and elegance of the production, which embodies the design in rich and personal character. It is called ‘Kodawari’, which is an important design philosophy reflected in my work to date.
PROJECTS My design focus has always been to blend my interests in materiality, colour, texture, and geometry, regardless of the project type and scale. The invention of new materials, components and methods of fabrication with ever advancing technology greatly enriches simple yet inspired design solutions. In recent years, Japanese design has also been actively engaged in pioneering innovation, however in my view, there is an enduring concept of delicacy, precision and simplicity, that will continue to be tactile and represented in the future.
In our new Define & Design series we enlist the help of experienced professionals to help us create inspired flooring concepts, imagine unique room designs, and share their own insights and experiences in the interior and design industry. Ted Todd loves to work with creative people, who share our passion for quality design and sustainable solutions. If you are a designer and would like to get involved we would love to hear from you, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To explore series 1, visit tedtodd.co.uk/journal
Studio Chik has recently specified a bespoke 220mm Dalby plank for a new workspace in the heart of Farringdon and a 220mm Brampton plank for a Victorian home renovation in South East London.
A VISION OF MODERN WORK LIFE
One of the most ambitious and complex projects in North America, the new Starwood Property Trust, Miami Beach Headquarters on Collins Avenue, is due to be completed in 2023. Designed by architectural firm Gensler, with interiors by Clive Lonstein Inc, the building welcomes a new wave of sustainability in all facets. The design showcases Woodworks Moth plank (shown here) used throughout the 13,417 sqm building, including the multi- storey reception area, meetings rooms, and principal office walls.
This ‘A Class’ commercial building was specially developed with a bespoke extra wide plank slat wall detail, as well as architectural elements for joinery, furniture & lift cabins. Positioned in a prime location, where urban meets the beach, this momentous building offers the latest trends in modern work life and is destined to become a landmark within the Miami skyline. To discuss your international project, start the conversation today by calling 020 8629 3056.
A PERPETUAL JOURNEY THE WORLD OF EAST ASIAN INSPIRATION AWAITS…
From minimalist sophistication to inventive contemporary design, explore Japanese inspired interiors, architecture and East Asian craftsmanship in our zen Design Centre spaces. Our library is yours to explore and we look forward to welcoming you for a visit. Here’s a selection of our top reads that you can expect to see in our library.
JAPANESE INTERIORS Author: Mihoko Lida
ARCHITECTURE BY HAND Author: Spencer Fung
CONTEMPORARY JAPANESE ARCHITECTURE Author: Philip Jodidio This book delves into both Japanese traditions and contemporary thought and technical capacities, highlighting 39 architects and 55 exceptional projects by Japanese masters. From urban apartments to mountain and seaside escapes - this book showcases aspirational minimalist homes alongside functional live/workspaces and traditional historic dwellings.
From architecture to interior design and furniture, and focusing on his method of work, Spencer explores his love of nature and the influence this has on his work.
CONTEMPORARY WABI-SABI STYLE Author: Artpower International Publishers The wabi-sabi aesthetic is a simple beauty that can stand the test of time. This book features over 30 wabi-sabi style commercial and residential projects from around the world.
Discuss your commercial projects with us today by calling 020 8629 3056.
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