BACKSTORIES by Tokuhiko Kise

I am often asked, “Where do your ideas for furniture come from?”
The answer is, “They come from anywhere and anytime.”

Because I make furniture, no matter what I look at I end up thinking about it. Even if I see a jacket in a clothing store, I think, “I want to make a sofa out of this material.” It’s the same as how my baker friend sees a piece of soap and thinks, “I want to make bread like this!”

It’s easy to understand how “Hanger Table” got its name. As you can see, the legs are shaped like clothing hangers. If my baker friend had seen the same hanger, he’d have made “Hanger Bread”.

One day, I looked at a hanger and suddenly wanted to make a table. Ever since, the idea for the hanger shape of the legs indistinctly – and sometimes clearly – lingered in my mind. As the days crawled on, I kept thinking about how to connect the hanger-shaped parts to metal and sketched the same ideas over and over.

Another idea that frequently came to me was for a tabletop in the shape of two half circles linked by a straight line. It wasn’t that I saw a table with that shape and wanted to make one, rather, I just saw a board about 40 centimeters long with the rounded ends and thought it looked like an old, European.. something.

I picked up ideas here and there and stored each one inside of my head where they piled up, until one day they all burst out and started to come together. I didn’t know what the final table would look like but I got to work on the prototype anyway. Even as I worked on it I made changes. There were times when I thought I was finished, and others when I would hit a rut and have to put it aside for a while.

And finally, there it was – a tabletop set on four steel bars and hanger-shaped legs. I thought it looked good but – was it strong? The only way to find out was to use it.

And sometimes, I stood on top of it.

The table wouldn’t be used in this way ordinarily, but, there might be a situation when you might – for example, having to stand on top of a table to change a lightbulb is something I think everybody does at some point.

It was in this way that the Hanger Table was born. A table with no corners feels smaller than it actually is but in a comfortable way – as if just by sitting around it and enjoying a chat over coffee or wine, everything seems to come together.

And if the table does that, I would be glad.

Tokuhiko Kise