Designer of prefab houses for Muji, household objects for his own brand Plus Minus Zero, and projects for Issey Miyake, Vitra and more, here we look at Naoto Fukasawa's newest designs for B&B Italia. Described by Fukasawa as "like making a sculpture out of Carrara marble blocks", Harbor is a collection that poetically conjures function from the purest of form.
Released at the Milan Furniture Fair earlier this year, Harbor continues Naoto Fukasawa's research into upside-down truncated cone-shaped seating. We saw this approach with the Papilio collection too, and it is a theme that Fukasawa employs across all of his work – from CD players to architecture. While this project also addressed B&B Italia’s interest in developing single-moulded seating with armrests. "When I was working on the Papilio family," remarks Fukasawa, "I realised that working on a mass of polyurethane foam is the iconic strength of B&B Italia. Hence, the idea for this design is to sculpt a form… as if I was making a sculpture out of Carrara marble blocks".
In execution, Harbor is designed in two forms; one an easy armchair with a high back and headrest, and the other a conversation armchair with a low back. Both have a very finely detailed, almost hidden, swivel base. Like the Papilio series, a metal hinge on the back of each chair allows you to remove the upholstery cover that comes in either leather or fabric. The ottoman and tray are a combined third form and complete the series.