When it comes to designing, Tokujin Yoshioka, our Designer of the Year (2008 awards), is concerned with bigger things than function. Take his latest creation, the Venus chair, entirely made from natural crystals with no core mould or structure. Venus forms part of Yoshioka’s latest project, Second Nature, an exhibition that he curated at Issey Miyake’s 21_21 Design Sight gallery in Tokyo.

Ecomuseum

Click here to see more of the exhibition
Click here to read our Q&A with Tokujin Yoshioka
Using nature and technology only, Yoshioka creates forms which he believes resonate far deeper than a humdrum, machine-made piece of functional furniture. This is Yoshioka’s definition of ‘Second Nature’ and the premise behind his exhibition.
A further seven designers are on show (including Ross Lovegrove and the Campana Brothers) each with a different vision or comment on design’s future; what it might be, how it might be made and how we might respond to it.
From nightmarish hybrids of man and plant, to more technical solutions of bone growth, the collection provides an imaginative insight into capabilities of materials and manufacturing in the present, let alone what might be possible in the future.
The best thing about the exhibition though is Yoshioka’s design of the space itself. To get visitors into a futuristic mindset, he strung some 360,000 plastic strands from the ceiling, computer programmed to a certain length and low lit, giving the effect of a manmade cloud. Standing underneath it is like standing in a different world - a world where rapid prototype bones and crystal chairs might just be the norm.