Sometimes design can be so subtle it feels like magic. That’s certainly the case with Shelf, a new project by the two-person Japanese design firm Yoy that premiered at the Milan furniture fair last week. It seems unthinkable: Gravity disappears as a vase, picture frame, and even a stack of books float along the wall in midair.
Of course, there’s a certain irony that Shelf is actually just a shelf–or a series of thin and strong metal shelves, crafted with minimal hardware so that you don’t see them poking out from the wall or hanging under the objects they support. “We focused a phenomenon that people perceive that something exists when it actually doesn’t,” Yoy’s Naoki Ono and Yuki Yamamoto say over email. “We are interested in ‘errors’ that occur in perception.”
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