When the powerful tsunami waves moved across the Oshika Peninsula, eventually surging into the Northern coast of Japan, it was both an act of violence but also a chain reaction of nature that originated deep below the sea. Inspired by the sheer force of earth’s geological formations, and the immense volume of our atmosphere, industrial designer and head of Studio Archimedes Soichiro Kanbayashi created Back Up Japan. The topographic low tables, at their base, represents the four main islands of Japan, which then rise up and expand in volume like mushrooms.

The piece was carved and stacked using Japanese cedar, Kanbayashi tells me, with a large portion of the curves having to be hand-carved and sanded to obtain their ideal shape. It was originally created for the Monokeiro 11/11 exhibition, which was held on November 11, 2011 in Kyoto on the 8-month anniversary of that fateful day.

Upside down view of the low tables

Many thanks to Mr. Kanbayashi for helping to obtain images