Furniture design

These shelves reveal colour gradients when brought together

Tokyo-based designer Bijin Davis’ “for a fleeting moment” project features mobile shelves that illuminate one another with gradients of color.

The name of the collection refers to the fleeting moment in which the colour gradients appear, an effect made possible by the gradient underneath each shelf. On their own, the shelves remain a standard white, but when brought together and overlaid, the gradient colour exposes itself on the white surface of another shelf. “I was initially sparked by this idea when I saw my red computer mouse against my white wall, and I could see a faint tint of red. With COVID, spending a lot of time at home has made me observe relationships between objects, not only people,” said Davis. 

This no doubt inspired the minimal construction too, which makes for quick disassembly. Aluminum pipes support sturdy aluminum composite boards, each of which has been shaped using a water jet cutter attached with a simple turning action.

Obviously, the shelf’s unique function depends on an ease of movement, which seamless ball casters attached to the feet of each pipe enable. The most challenging element of the design was the hand-painted gradients, which took multiple rounds of trial and error to achieve a softly diffused reflection that looks as though it’s emitted from an LED light. 

Interactive design inspired by isolation

Bijin‘s takes inspiration from elemental materials such as light and shadows, which inform her experimental approach to design. Designed for her Masters Graduate project in 2021, here she uses both to highlight the positive effect little interactions in design can have on the user.

A little moment of magic reminds everyone that we are not alone and that furniture can play a huge functional role in our lives. “[It] tells the story of what life is like in isolation [and] how it looks brighter in good company,” Davis explains. “When the shelves are separated, their colors fade. Yet, when juxtaposed or layered, they shed colors on one other and illuminate! Like humans, they too need a friend.”

Another design inspired by the lockdown was Dean Norton’s “table-within-a-table” series, check it out!