I admire Japanese tile design. The Japanese stands at Cersaie and the other international tile exhibitions always offer something different. And, while this is often the tiles themselves, the stands themselves usually have a unique feel. They are restrained, beautifully curated, calm, rigorous and peaceful; a welcome change of pace and tone from the frenetic pace of the thronging aisles and bustling booths that predominate.
One company that never fails to impress is Inax; pioneers of air-purifying tiles and manufacturers of jewel-like pieces that could grace any design museum. From the many Japanese tile ranges that I could have featured in For Diary of a Tile Addict, I have selected Dent Cube by Inax. Inax was originally founded in Japan in 1924 as a ceramic tile and sanitaryware manufacturer. Initially working with Frank Lloyd Wright, who used its tile in the design of the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, Inax has grown into a global leader in the manufacture of tiles, building materials, and sanitaryware.
Designed by Teruo Yasuda, Inax’s Dent Cube is a three-dimensional ‘mosaic’ wall tile range that combine glass and porcelain at different depths to create a truly unique effect.
These tiles offer captivating reflections and shadows which, when used indoors, generate a very unusual interior atmosphere. The coloured glass inserts are available in many different hues allowing for almost infinite design possibilities. Dent Cube can also be used outdoors as a three-dimensional porcelain stoneware cladding.
The collection includes tiles with special voids into which coloured glass tiles can be inserted. Designers can also create their own patterns by placing the flat and dented tiles in specific places and use the coloured glass inserts to customise the surface.
Dent Cube is part of Inax’s Nagomi concept. Nagomi means tranquility, peace, a sense of inner calm and serenity. It is a mental state that, once reached, means that one spontaneously seeks the same well-being at the level of the senses.
The yellow, pink, red, blue and green tiles convey this sense of well-being. Supplied on a mesh backing in modules of 300 by 300mm, the 47 by 47mm small tiles come in two forms. One is just 10mm thick and smooth. The other is deeper, at 18mm, and features a border that can be left empty or enhanced by a glass tile insert.
And, in line with a company that sets great store by sustainability, Dent Cube is manufactured using 50% recycled product.
This item first appeared in Tile & Stone Journal, February 2012.