At this year’s IMM Cologne, Italian furniture design company Lema collaborated with Raw Edges designers Yael Mer and Shay Alkalay who founded their studio in 2007 with the aim of creating soulful and yet, ironic, objects (such as this unusual commissioned piece, to create a unique piece.
Lema, who has long created shelving systems and bookcases for the home has been closely following the evolution of market and consumer needs, especially given the evolution of the library in a modern world that is increasingly oriented towards paperbacks and e-books. Yael and Shay have worked on the concept of the book as an object and as material, which transforms its function and reinvents itself. From these two companies comes a new collaborative effort: The Booken, which is simultaneously a table, shelf and library.
“We were inspired by the fact that people do not re-read the novels that are so often on the shelves,” says Raw Edges. “Most books are usually read once and not re-read, and then we thought, why not use the volumes as if they have a plan? Of course you can always remove the book and read it, but at the same time the books take on a new role. ”
And that is why the designers chose the name Booken. In English, the suffix ‘en’ applies in furnishing the material names to identify those with which objects are made. Following this concept, the book becomes the constituent material.
The essence of Booken is captured in two parallel tracks supported by legs on which rest several wooden slats that echo the classic form of the bookmark. The books are literally “hanging” transforming the library from a vertical element to a horizontal element.
“For us it was definitely a challenge from the conceptual point of view,” says Angelo Meroni, chairman of Lema. “But at the same time a fun and cool project that brings us closer to a different audience giving us, after collaborating with young designers like Nendo and Giopato & Coombes, a way to look at the future of design and creativity in the field of furniture.”