Beech Boy

With its curved beech-and-oak construction and natural wood finish, Naoto Fukasawa’s new Hiroshima chair may seem like a departure for the Japanese designer. After all, his best-known products, for Muji and the consumer-electronics brand Plus Minus Zero, are overwhelmingly in plastic. Hiroshima, by contrast, looks like an updated version of one of Hans Wegner’s iconic armchairs. But this chair—the result of a collaboration with the Maruni Wood Industry, an 80-year-old Japanese manufacturer—fits well within the aesthetic that Fukasawa and his friend Jasper Morrison have dubbed “super normal”: products so integrated into our everyday lives that they don’t look designed at all, and seem almost inevitable. For anyone who’s grown tired of the willfully zany Droog-inspired designs of recent years, this kind of thinking will come as a refreshing tonic.

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