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Max Phillips wholeheartedly embraced the archetypal Japanese aesthetic when he interned for Metaphys in Osaka and Nendo in Tokyo after completing his BA in furniture and product design at Nottingham Trent University. His Mizu chair, for example, is so minimal it’s almost non-existent. Constructed from a single sheet of clear acrylic, Mizu ‘s joint-free, “barely there” frame is designed to be more than unobtrusive, it blends completely into the background. “When viewed face on,” Phillips says, “the chair disappears into its surroundings, leaving only the visible trace of its steel supports.”
It’s part of Phillips’ personal brand strategy, something he calls POCHA POCHA, which translates into “slightly chubby” in Japanese. To Phillips it means designing “simple, thoughtful products that bring balance to the ‘chubby’ world we live in.” Another of Phillip’s antidotes to our chubby world is his lovely set of desk objects, three white circular containers that only reveal their contents when you pick them up, a motion that triggers a piece of “switchable glass” that changes from opaque to transparent (you can watch a video of it in action). Phillips has designated one container as a clock, another as a light and the third is left up to you. The three desk objects are quite charming, and I’d really love to see Phillips apply the switchable glass in other products as well.