As I have noted before in Tile Addict, there is something elusively other about Japanese tiles. This hard-to-define difference has many facets: scale, exactness, restraint, texture, palette and, perhaps most importantly of all, underlying design philosophy.
Dent Cube, designed by Teruo Yasuda, is an excellent case in point. Created for Japanese manufacturer, Inax, in 2012, Dent Cube is a three-dimensional mosaic wall tile collection that combines glass and porcelain at different depths to create a truly unique effect.
These 3D geometric tiles were inspired by masu; cube-shaped wooden vessels, made without the use of nails, that have been used in Japan for holding rice or sake for over 1300 years.
Dent Cube tiles create captivating reflections and shadows which, when used indoors, offer create an unusual 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 3D porcelain cladding.
The collection includes tiles with special voids into which glass tiles of various colours can be inserted. Designers can also create their own patterns by placing the flat and dented tiles in specific places; using the coloured glass inserts to further 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 individuals spontaneously seeks sensual well-being.
The yellow, pink, red, blue and green tiles convey this sense. Supplied mesh-backed in 300 by 300mm sheets, 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. Dent Cube is manufactured using 50% recycled product.
A new post by Joe Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, March 2017.
Further coverage of technical innovations, the latest ceramic tile design trends and profiles of leading manufacturers can be found in Tile & Stone Journal, or online.