Before Winnie and Tigger and Eeyore ever appeared on television, they were real stuffed animals that belonged to a real boy named Christopher Robin. They then became the illustrations of A.A. Milne (Christopher Robin’s father), before they were brought to animated life by Disney. The characters have been transformed yet again, into playful yet elegant furniture by Japanese design studio Nendo for Walt Disney Japan.
To create the Pooh Table collection, Nendo distilled the physiques and postures of the Hundred Acre Wood crew into a pared-down set of wooden shapes. The largest piece is an ovular coffee table inspired by Winnie’s roly-poly bod. All the pieces–which were designed exclusively for Disney’s Japanese branch–are made of maple wood, but Nendo also added colorful knitted flourishes that act like character-coding cues. The Winnie-esque coffee table has a maroon vest that matches Pooh’s sweater; the egg-shaped side table has a violet cover that signals Piglet’s little jumper. Eeyore, of course, is a drooping sidetable wearing gray.
As standalone pieces, the Pooh Table collection could pass for cheery, Scandinavian designs, maybe from the likes of Note Studio or Permafrost–and that’s very much part of their charm. They only call to mind stuffed animals and cartoons once you’ve had a moment to extract the similarities. The pieces were made for Japan’s Disney office, so, like the commissioning company itself, the Pooh Table collection has a fine line to walk: friendly enough for kids, innovative enough for executives, and likable by everyone.MR