In Osaka, a boutique entirely accessible at a glance

Japanese designer Yusuke Seki takes care of the interior of a small shop using nothing but a metal profile to separate the sales area from the back shop.

On the second floor of a former bank building built in 1922 in the centre of Osaka, Japanese designer Yusuke Seki designed the interior and furnishings of the I See All boutique. In the small floor plan available, the most significant intervention consists of a metal profile – rectangular and hollow – lacquered in vermilion, which, dividing the room in two, marks the separation between the sales floor and the back of the store. The shelf, custom built to cover the entire 4.6 m span, is installed at eye level, making it practically inevitable.

Yusuke Seki, I See All, Osaka, Japan, 2020. Photo Takumi Ota

The decision to mark the public and private areas of the shop with nothing more than a shelf has a practical reason: the large window in the corner, characteristic of the historic building, was too valuable to be blocked with a harder divider and a ban on the back of the shop. At the same time, as told by the designer herself, “the shelf is reminiscent of a graphic annotation that a designer could draw in red pen to indicate a separation in plan”. Therefore, as a two-dimensional line transposed into a three-dimensional space, the shelf also assumes the quality of an abstract symbol, “the idea of a partition reduced to a pure sign”.

In the exhibition area, the product tables with built-in drawers have also been designed as an element, presented as solid blocks on the front, while the other three sides have been deliberately left exposed, making the internal mechanisms of the drawers, with their nuts and bolts, visible from the outside.

“The idea of revealing what usually remains hidden is an organizational principle of this project” narrates the designer. “Like the normally invisible work of the sliding mechanisms of the drawers, the operation of the back of the shop is brought to light here. The name, after all, speaks for itself: I See All.”

I See All
Yusuke Seki
Osaka, Japan

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