A new story begins… sometimes challenging traditions, and sometimes with a sense of playfulness, but always with an eye from the world of fashion.
Where do the new generations of Japanese people live or dream of living?
What is the style of the homes of young digital entrepreneurs, creatives, architects, fashion stylists
and designers, filmmakers, influencers or people working in the world of advertising?
Taiju Yamashita, designer and architect, born in 1981 in Tokyo, found the design studio DRAFT in 2008 where he, together with a team of more than one hundred and eighty people, devotes himself to a wide range of projects ranging from interior design to architecture, from industrial design to branding. He is an expert in how individuals move through spaces.
Yamashita's design concept, which has always been based on the philosophy "HAPPINESS THROUGH DESIGN", aims to contribute to the improvement of society and the human experience. In all his work, the significance of the role a space can play is present. In search of the perfect place to spend time in comfort, he created DAFT about DRAFT, a new brand of original and refined furniture designed by him. He chose the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan, which takes place from 18 to 23 April 2023, to present it for the first time on the international design stage.
With DAFT about DRAFT - the translation of which is 'crazy about design' - the designer offers the opportunity to feel at ease surrounded by sophisticated furnishings that dictate the latest trends. The style of the collection, the result of a hybridisation of styles, opens a channel between East and West and responds to the needs of the new generations to experience environments with a cosmopolitan approach, feeling 'at home' - whether in their own residence or in a hotel - anywhere in the world.
From Tokyo to Miami, from Dubai to New York, young people today prefer a decorative fusion style, in line with the latest trends in fashion, art, music and cuisine, which goes beyond the minimalism of Japanese tradition. But attracted by the fascination of the Rising Sun, it also has a strong appeal to peers from every other part of the world. Because the creativity that comes to life in Taiju Yamashita's designs is comparable to the freedom of expression and cheerfulness that is characteristic of the fashion world.
The ideas created by designer Taiju Yamashita always come from the stories that flow through people's lives. DAFT about DRAFT furniture is conceived thinking about these stories. Creativity emanates from a single product. The warmth, fun, and sense of freedom that can be felt from a single product. A beautiful story begins to unfold when just one of these products is present in a place. This is what Yamashita believes the role of furniture should be.
From the people who touch furniture to the interior that surrounds them, the architecture that in turn surrounds such an interior, and ultimately, the cities, although the scale might differ, all of these things are a fusion of people.
“I normally oversee architectural design, large-scale urban development concepts, and the interior design of offices, hotels, etc… and now I also do product design. I have travelled to more than fifty cities across the globe and seen many things, but I learnt that it is always people’s stories from which ideas originate.” ends the designer. “I want our products that fuse with people very close to be like fashion in that they are free, gentle, and elaborate so that they may stay by people’s side throughout the long journey of life.”
DAFT about DRAFT is a brand born from the designs that Yamashita had been writing down little by little in the course of various projects:
“Sometimes challenging traditions, for the first DAFT about DRAFT collection, we wanted to design with a sense of freedom and humour without being bound by stereotypes, and we express this overflowing sense of playfulness through our products. I was been thinking about how to propose a more personalized and freer lifestyle, just like choosing clothes, in contrast to the homogenized lifestyles we are used to.”
DAFT about DRAFT is a brand born in Tokyo that enriches urban living. The brand challenges the restricted space of the city and its monotonous lifestyle. Just like a delicate flower that blooms rebelliously out of concrete pavement on the street, DAFT about DRAFT proposes a design that helps to express the uniqueness of individuals.
Like a minimalist sofa quietly placed in a museum. What makes this scene so beautiful is the presence of the sofa itself and the mood of the entire space. The moderate amount of sunlight, and the invisible, quiet air all work together in harmony. And the various stories spun from each piece of furniture placed there. Visitors to such a place sense the beauty of the scene due to the harmony of all the elements combined with the presence of the sofa, the overall ambience, the perfect amount of sunlight, and the intangible quietness. DAFT about DRAFT products are designed with these stories in mind.
So DAFT about DRAFT was born to illuminate rooms and give light to our lives, to stay by our side forever, to be freer to better express who we are by making each and every individual’s life as beautiful as a painting, as dramatic and emotional as a movie.
A play of light and shadow
The poetic concept of the stand created for the Salone del Mobile in Milan was designed to stimulate the imagination and capture the Interest: the projection of the silhouettes of the furniture of the collection on the ancient Japanese washi paper that wraps around the stand, recalling a traditional Japanese screen, suggests something, but without showing the complete image. It captures the attention arousing an emotion in those who pass outside, even before realizing it, have already been captured by the vision of the world of DAFT about DRAFT. From the outside, in fact, the amount of information is minimized, but the allure of the brand is perceived at a glance.
Taiju Yamashita, architect and designer
“Creating such an interior is not simply about lining up rows of big-name products. The key is harmony. Just as awe-inspiring orchestras and delicious cuisines are entirely formed from harmony, an interior is about carefully creating a world that will become your backdrop by adding or removing elements while considering factors like light, shapes, and materials.” says architect and designer Taiju Yamashita.
His design is characterized by free and well-balanced expressions based on a myriad of harmonies. From these products, enriching stories unfold and ultimately contribute to creating an interior that helps people shine even brighter than before.
“Our challenge began from a thought that derived from a particular project that we wished many people may sense the role of our interior, architecture, and products – all of which are entirely people-orientated” continues Yamashita. “A beautiful story begins to unfold with just one such product arranged in space. A single product radiates creativity, from which people can feel warmth and enjoyment and experience a sense of freedom. That is the role DAFT about DRAFT furniture aims to serve.”