Design

Navigating tranquility – mobile tea room at Milan Design Week

STRAIGHT - Naoshi Kondo, Milan Design Week 2024

Milan Design Week 2024 witnessed the unveiling of a unique and mobile architectural marvel that seamlessly blended tradition with innovation. Naoshi Kondo, a renowned designer, architect, and artist, presented his latest creation, STRAIGHT, a Japanese-style tea room on wheels, to the delight of design enthusiasts and passersby alike.
The concept behind STRAIGHT is as elegant as it is ingenious. A hand-pulled cart, resembling a quaint street vendor’s stall, serves as the vessel for Japan’s smallest tea room, inviting visitors to step inside and immerse themselves in a moment of tranquility amidst the bustling cityscape of Milan. The minimalist aesthetic of Japanese architecture is expertly captured within the compact confines of STRAIGHT, with clean lines and linear elements evoking a sense of calm and serenity.


What sets STRAIGHT apart is not just its static presence at Milan Design Week but its dynamic journey throughout the city. From April 15th to 21st, this mobile installation traversed Milan’s streets, popping up at various locations upon request. It was not merely a stationary exhibit but a moving experience, bringing the essence of Japanese tea culture to unexpected corners of the city and fostering spontaneous interactions with the public.
Naoshi Kondo’s vision for STRAIGHT extends beyond the confines of physical space. By redefining traditional norms and values through his minimalist design philosophy, Kondo invites viewers to reconsider their perceptions of space and activity. In a world where mobility and adaptability are increasingly valued, STRAIGHT serves as a testament to the transformative power of design to shape our experiences and interactions with the built environment.


Reflecting on his creation, Kondo remarks, “STRAIGHT represents an exploration of activity in spaces often overlooked. It challenges the notion of what constitutes meaningful design and invites viewers to engage with their surroundings in a new and unexpected way.” Indeed, STRAIGHT is more than just a tea room on wheels—it is a symbol of creativity, innovation, and the boundless possibilities of design.
As Milan Design Week draws to a close, the legacy of STRAIGHT continues to resonate, leaving behind a trail of inspiration and contemplation in its wake. In a world where design is often confined to static spaces, Kondo’s mobile masterpiece serves as a refreshing reminder of the dynamic and transformative nature of architecture and creativity.

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Naoshi Kondo

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