The Beat-Shelf
Van Tjalle En Jasper Wednesday 02 Jul 2014

At first glance it may not be apparent what Beat is used for, but take a closer look and it is evident that designers Van Tjalle En Jasper have created an innovative way of storing books and magazines without the need for bookends. An iconic shape, the shelf was designed around philosophical conversations between the designers about the meaning of life; they searched for an archaic, universal shape that could represent life itself. The design of The Beat-Shelf became their answer to this, with its angular appearance signifying the heartbeat line on hospital cardiac equipment.   

Their intention was to simplify the heartbeat's line, giving it a cleaner look without losing any of its power or universal recognition. Van Tjalle En Jasper have since reported that the shelf itself often attracts more attention than the items it displays.

In the Amsterdam workshop, their design came to life from rough, solid, American walnut, olive ash and European oak. The wood was shaped into boards of the correct width, and then assembled. It was necessary to build bespoke tools which would achieve the specific vertical cuts the design demanded into the surface of the wooden boards. Each board was sanded and finished with varnish before custom-made suspension was added, enabling the product to be hung on the wall.

The incisions or slits in the wood's surface can house books or magazines. More than a simple shelf, the angular nature of Beat invites the user to also hang books over the top of the pointed peaks, providing an innovative method of both book storage and page-marking.

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