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Old Paradise Yard

Resident Mentsen: 'Lines From Surfaces' x London Design Festival 2019

As the 2019 edition of London Design Festival took over the capital last week, resident Mentsen debuted their new works 'Lines Form Surfaces'.

Japanese designer duo Risa Sano and Yasuyuki Sakurai of Mentsen are based at Old Paradise Yard, our creative workspace and hidden gem nestled between Waterloo City Farm and Archbishop’s Park.

'Lines Form Surfaces', the title of the show, has been adapted from the studio name Mentsen, meaning ‘lines and surfaces’ in Japanese.

Mentsen have showcased their new shelving system Garland and benches Time for Tea, both of which demonstrate their pursuit for the structural elegance and warmth through the choice of materials.

One of the UK’s most exciting new voices in interior design and founder of Lant Street’s bar, Jermaine Gallacher, has named Mentsen's work one of the most interesting of the LDF 2019.

Gallacher wrote: “Sometimes it’s hard to find things you actually like, let alone want to write about. So, while trawling through the dreaded London Design Fair website, I was pleasantly surprised to spot something really rather beautiful: some shelves. In my experience, shelves are not always a thing of beauty – more often than not they are simply practical things we put up in the alcoves of our sitting rooms, bedrooms and hallways; dusty old bits of plywood held up by Leyland’s wall brackets. Or am I just describing my own? The shelving system that caught my eye was designed and made by design duo Risa Sano and Yasuyuki Sakurai of Mentsen, and could not be further from this.

The duo’s studio is nestled at the back of Old Paradise Yard, a charming assortment of old-world studio buildings in Lambeth, not too far from my own place of work. As I entered the space, I spotted the beautiful vivid blue circular shelf tower I had seen online. At two metres tall and one metre across, it’s an impressive piece – one of three modular shelving systems named ‘Garland’ (there is also an L-shaped sideboard and room divider). But my favourite of the set had to be these towering shelves. Risa told me they are made from colour wood fiber panels, or posh MDF, which made me like her and the shelf tower even more. It’s tall, elegant and understated, a right bit of me.


Read Jermaine Gallacher’s Highlights from London Design Festival here.

24th September, 2019