Online design studio Hem is breaking ground in more ways than one this London Design Festival. First of all, they are opening their a bricks-and-mortar space in Covent Garden's Seven Dials. Secondly, they are one of the 10 Designers in the West Wing at Somerset House. Last but not least, they are unveiling their chain shelving, designed by Japanese design studio Nendo. 

It is this out-of-the box project which catches our attention now. In a Wallpaper* video exclusive, Oki Sato explains the process behind his modular shelving unit and genius behind the design. 'When design gets this simple,' he begins, 'detailing is important. We were able to work on the small details, find the best materials and best solutions.’

It is important not to confuse ‘simple’ with basic however. Its minimalist design carries an understated appeal and the variety (of colours, combinations and finishes) on offer prevents the aesthetic from going stale. Instead, the creative reins are handed to the customer.

'The boxes lock together to look like a chain, [which is] extremely flexible [and] brings out the creative side of the user.'

The line fuses simplicity with customisation using the online configuration system, enabling customers to choose from a plethora of designs and colours. The boxes, open-ended on one side, connect by utilising a Hem designed proprietary system, which allows a variety of unique units: from a solid set to a lighter, spaced out one; sized simply as a bed table or into wall-spanning checkerboard cases, with a selection of six different colours and finishes perfect for any room.