It is debatable whether Tokujin Yoshioka’s conceptual furniture is defining or defying nature, but there is no doubt that his crystal furniture will leave you awestruck. As part of his “Second Nature” exhibition visitors were able to watch the crystalline chairs grow in large aquariums filled with a mineral solution. Although the shape of the fiber initially guides the crystals into chair-like objects, Yoshioka adds another dimension by allowing the chairs to choose their own form.

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Rather than allowing the fibrous polyester forms to be taken over by the crystal structures (similar to the way rock candy grows in sugar water), Yoshioka encourages the crystals to choose their own movements by playing classical music into the tanks. In this way he gives the crystals a life and achieves what he calls “embodying a beauty born of coincidence.”

Yoshioka’s experiment does not meant to suggest that growing crystal chairs is a viable method for mass producing furniture. The exhibition, shown at 21_21 Design Sight in Tokyo, is rather a reminder that even though we live in an age of rapidly evolving technology, there is creativity in nature that defies human imagination.

+Tokujin Yoshioka

Photos by Masaya Yoshimura