The IRIS Group produces and sells home appliances, storage products, and sundries. As its subsidiary, office furniture manufacturer IRIS CHITOSE developed a diverse lineup extending beyond furniture, with a comprehensive collection that includes lighting fixtures, accessories, and floor coverings.
The collection was designed to blend into the home and café settings, to fit the diversified workstyles that accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic, such as telecommuting from home and ‘workations’ outside cities. As a result, the balance struck was one between curves and corners. Circles are design elements that invite human touch and natural attraction while simultaneously bringing a subconscious softness to a given space. Corners, on the other hand, make objects beautifully continuous, align with walls easily, and have a sharpening effect in the same space. Each of the three hundred items in the collection is made of a combination of the two shapes. The collection was designed to be adaptable to a variety of environments and to enable customization of functions desired of furniture in workspaces, such as concentration, relaxation, and communication.
Free-address desks and flap tables are available with either rounded or squared ends. Rounded desks can be used for simple meetings, while rectangular desks can be arranged side by side for an efficient layout. Sofas and booths are designed with corners on the exterior and curves on the interior, so as to be both compatible with the space it inhabits and comfortable for those inhabiting it. Between the curved and cornered elements is sufficient space for the installation of light fixtures. Further, desks and meeting corners have modules of matching heights and widths for easy pairing. Side tables, benches, and planters are shaped in combinations of semicircles and squares. Not only the sizes and shapes change with its placements, the furniture wastes little space between it and other furniture, the walls, or corners of a given space. Increasing the gap between leaves of the side tables makes it easier to hide cables for charging devices and lighting. Desks can be fitted with organizer frames from which to hang prepared accessories like trays, pen holders, and clocks. Fabric panels may be attached to the frame to improve sound absorption or to hide light fixtures and cabling.
Light fixtures come in two shapes: a linear, angular type focusing on functionality, and one with a lampshade featuring both circular and angular qualities. Both come with one of three bases: a standard type, a pen holder type, or one equipped with a clamp. Light fixtures with lampshades come in three varieties, to be placed on desks or floors or hung from ceilings. Lampshades for desks are painted orange inside, and the two spotlights within may be pointed directly onto surfaces for strong, cool, direct lighting, or otherwise pointed at the orange interior of the lampshade for warm, indirect lighting. Such a light fixture installed at the center of a table makes it possible to light both people facing each other. The coat hook covers and the bases of café tables are designed in the same shape as the lampshades to give spaces a sense of unity.
The stacking chairs, lounge chairs, and desk chairs were also designed to strike the balance between tense propriety and relaxation, with a combination of curve in upper part and angular shape in lower part. Stool seats and handles added for easy transport are circular by design to be friendly to the touch. The collection includes items for office entrances, like umbrella stands and reception counters; for conference rooms, like coat racks, sound-absorbing panels, and flat-panel speakers; and for break areas, like counter stools, containers for snacks or stationery, and trash bins. The result is a collection that satisfies the needs of a wide range of workspaces.
The collection is entitled “enKAK,” from the Japanese words for circle (en) and angle (kak). To better emphasize the characteristics of each shape, “en” remains lowercased while “KAK” presents itself in all caps. Seven main colors were selected for being able to match the other when used in combination, and the fabric and floor coverings were designed from scratch. Now the collection aims to provide comprehensive support for space creation by offering reception counters, kitchen counters, benches, wall shelving, and other built-in fixtures as well as providing interior design supervision.