Holy cow. Thanks to talented designer Nicole from Hot Toffee, I found these amazing Dress-Code stools by Fukutoshi Ueno. Based in Brisbane for the last 16 years, Toshi is inspired by the concept of bringing Nature indoors to connect more closely with it.
Produced in three fantastic designs, (Botan, Tsubaki and Kiku), the Dress-Code stool was designed in collaboration with Akira Isogawa. The stool is inspired by Toshi's Japanese heritage - partly by the fine art of the tea ceremony and partly by the lesser known incense ceremony. This ceremony, dating back to the 9th century, evokes the romantic story of nobleman Hikaru Genji. Genji had many lovers and different symbols to signify each lover. These symbols were printed on individual incense boxes and Toshi has used these symbols as the basis of his design, fleshed out into three dimensional pieces.
Expertly handcrafted using heirloom woods such as rosewood and teak, Toshi's pieces are made for longevity with the intention of passing from generation to generation. I would adore a Dress-Code piece for our living room, or as a bedside table, or a special piece for a nursery.
If you would like to know a little more about Toshi, you can find a great interview with him on the Living Edge blog.
Update 13th June 2009: Dress-Code stools are now available from Living Edge (although I don't see them on the website yet) or you can order from Toshi directly. There are now 2 collections available: the Premier Collection, made from solid silver ash (only 50 pieces of each pattern produced); and the Cafe Collection, made from fine quality marine plywood.
Image: Fukutoshi Ueno