tatamu is a modern day side table that pays tribute to artisanal wood craft. In Japanese, tatamu carries the meaning “to fold” or “pile”. This is clearly represented in the wooden ash strips, which now serve as doors that fold and wrap neatly around the circular frame.
Inspired by the properties of a traditional tatami mat, tatamu attempts to break the common misconception that wood is only hard, stiff or rigid. With the usage of modern CNC (computer numeric control) technology, alternating patterns are cut on strips of ash panel. This process creates a series of live hinges that allows the strips to bend and flex smoothly while retaining its strength.
With that, tatamu introduces a novel approach which contrasts with the current conventional cabinet and drawer system as the doors become transparent – all an individual needs to do is peel the strips to reveal the storage.
Rather than banking on flamboyant and flashy elements, tatamu emphasises on the humble beauty of the material (such as the grain, texture and colour) through deliberate curvatures.
The ends of the wooden strips are fixed with powder-coated, mild steel sheets. This allows the ends to be attracted to the neodymium magnets that are fitted within the frame, thus ensuring that the wooden strips are secured firmly in position. The strips are then added onto the frame with mechanical inserts. The main frame consists of 4 circular ash wood pieces and 16 mild steel rods which can be unscrewed for reassembly when necessary.