Tokyo – Countless designers have cited the ‘unfinished’ and ‘under construction’ aesthetics as inspiration. They’ve told tales of seeing materials awaiting installation – stacks of plasterboard or even pink fibreglass insulation and data cables – and had the sudden desire to stop there: not to conceal these oft-hidden elements but to elevate their status.
A number of Japanese designers have adopted this methodology – Jo Nagasaka of Schemata Architects is one of the movement’s better known names. For Daisuke Yamamoto, a former Wonderwall staffer, the aesthetic reflects the ‘scrap and build’ cycle that’s gaining ever more momentum in places experiencing rapid development, such as his home base of Tokyo. Like many of his peers, he finds beauty in the process of construction and detailing. But he says there’s also a ‘feeling of anticipation; making something new means destroying something old’.
For the Beautiful People fashion boutique in Tokyo, Yamamoto and team decided to spotlight the materials that are usually hidden by decorative finishes to draw attention to their inherent character. His main matter of choice? LGS, or light gauge steel, which is typically used for in- and exterior framing. Whereas the material is usually placed at intervals to serve its structural purpose, the designers abutted one sheet to the next. By doing so, ‘we created a unique expression of partitions for the fitting and stock rooms, which are key components for a retail store’, says Yamamoto.