by , 12/28/05


In Japanese, the word “Futaba” means two leaves sprouting from one seed. That sounds like a less violent version of the expression “killing two birds with one stone.” I love the way that just one word in Japanese sums up the whole thought of multi-functionalism in a much more elegant, refined way than the horrible English bird-killing idiom. Futaba is the perfect word to describe Akemi Tanaka’s beautiful, ecofriendly, convertible furniture.

Designed for people who live in small apartments and who like to entertain, Futaba is meant to be used as a coffee table on an everyday basis. When guests come over and additional seating is required, the furniture converts from table into a love seat.

If this sounds like a great idea to you, just wait – it gets better. Futaba was also designed to minimize environmental impact. The wood is all Plyboo, (which we’ve praised before for its ecofriendliess), and the finish is Danish Oil (both from Bettencourt Green Building Supplies). The fabric is from Carnegie, a company committed to sustainability.

Akemi Tanaka is an Industrial Design grad student at Pratt. Futaba is her final furniture studio project.

+ Akemitanaka

(The designer, Akemi Tanaka, sits on the left.)

Thanks Akemi!

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  1. rob bernard October 16, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    excellent design,I just need to know where I can buy it!

  2. Rob April 13, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    Akemi is so very cute. She is a perfect ten supermodel.

  3. Karen Arnold March 25, 2007 at 4:02 pm

    Finally, furniture for rooms the size of a postage stamp. Please provide dimensions for Futuba and Tagei. Have you begun marketing your pieces…if so where/prices? If not, when?

  4. T.Delvin Lee March 22, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    WOW! I, too, saw your segment on HGTV’s Small Space, Big Style. Congratulations! I am an artist in Las Vegas and I inhabit a studio-loft apartment. My dining room is my studio. I am also considered to be a very good cook and I entertain quite frequently. Please send me information on how I can get my butt into a few of your beautiful, practical and environmentally conscious pieces. I show my Art in my small space and I have no doubt that my friends and patrons will fall in love with your pieces. Whatever information you send me will be passed on to every person who graces my space. The *Art by Tory* Living Space Gallery would blossom with the inclusion of your pieces and I would be able to have larger showings and serve more food to my patrons and friends. Thank you for these lovely innovations.

  5. Crystal March 22, 2007 at 8:04 pm

    AWESOME! I saw you on HGTV’s Samll Space, Big Style. I’d love a bed that doubles as a desk made like the tagei, so that when it slides open, you’d have a “head board” and a “foot board”. Maybe it could have small shelves on one side for books, or something. That, I’d buy!

  6. aaron foyster November 22, 2006 at 12:16 pm

    wicked your work is prober cool im inspired would love to get down and design simular stuff myself maybe i will after my degree c ya

  7. Tom Glazener January 1, 2006 at 8:52 pm

    Fantastic. Where is this piece available in the Western US? Happy New Year.


  8. Darren January 1, 2006 at 6:55 pm

    Like your style. I would like to purchase some of your furniture. How do I go about doing this?

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