Yamaha Design “Synapses” A・round / Re・mind / Be・side


Interior Piano Design Project.


This is a proposal for a new relationship between lifestyles and pianos based on the concept that the design encompasses not only the shape of the piano, but also the time spent with the instrument. We collaborated with a furniture manufacturer to create three prototypes.


“A-round,” the focal point of a happy home. The rounded shape and warm wooden textures beckon people to draw closer and listen to the music. We opted for a leather piano lid to make it more inviting to touch.


“Re-mind,” a new concept for the appearance and value of an instrument when it is not being played. The design plays on the dual nature of the instrument—when viewed head-on, it appears to be a standard piano, but when viewed from the side, it creates a casual atmosphere like a full-length mirror leaning against the wall.


“Be-side,” a complement for bedrooms and other serene atmospheres. The rich wooden texture and rounded shape create a muted presence that blends well with any interior design. With a keyboard that casually peeks out from beneath the closed lid, and elegant pedals reminiscent of a grand piano, “Be-side” subtly asserts its presence as a musical instrument.

Moe Totani
Moe Totani
Yamaha Design Laboratory

Sunao Okamura
Sunao Okamura
Yamaha Design Laboratory

Masaharu Ono
Masaharu Ono
Yamaha Design Laboratory

Designing meaningful times together with the piano.

The purpose of this project was to consider new types of pianos themed around the concept of “Music in Life,” and to present the prototypes we developed with Chinese manufacturer Mexarts at Furniture China, a furniture exhibit.Our deliberations began from the conceptual element of determining what constitutes a prosperous lifestyle, and a life with music in it. The three of us eventually reached a common goal to propose designs that not only depict the shapes of objects, but also describe value in terms of time, a key word in our consideration.
“A-round” is a piano that enables people to enjoy time with family and friends. We set out to create numerous drawings that depicted our deep consideration of the relationships between the performer and the listeners, and our visions of how each of them stand, sit and express themselves around the instrument.
First and foremost, we wanted to eliminate the psychological distance created by the notion that only the performer is allowed to touch the instrument. This aim gave way to the formation of the smooth connection between table and piano that enables listeners to relax while in physical contact with the instrument. We also adjusted the height of the top panel to establish the perfect distance between the performer and the listeners.
Our decision to make the bench large enough for two people to sit on and to add another chair for the listener showcases our desire for the piano to be at the center of time spent with loved ones, whether people are playing the piano together, or the listener is watching the performer across the piano.
The design of the “Re-mind” piano focuses on the time the instrument is not being played. Our task was to find a way to create value in everyday life to outweigh the fact that pianos take up space even though they are not being played throughout most of the day. The solution was a design much like a distinctive decorative shelf, or a painting leaning against a wall.
To most people, the tops of pianos are perfect places to put decorations and other items. We decided to incorporate that tendency into our design, and put shelves for family pictures and mementos above the keyboard.
Sometimes, the presence of a piano creates an implicit, unwelcome imperative to play it. Our design makes the piano look like a full-length mirror leaning against the wall, and creates a pleasantly surprising, casual feeling.
“Be-side” is a piano that invites the player to play a bit to relax and enjoy themselves before going to sleep. We envisioned the player placing favorite items or drinks on the side table, softly playing comforting tunes, and relaxing themselves before heading off to sleep.
The warm, wooden texture gently soothes nerves, and when the large panel that comprises the lid is closed, the instrument feels like a piece of furniture and blends in with the surroundings. The completely reimagined, sleek pedals glow against the interior design.
With this design, we have created a new way to interact with pianos in bedrooms and other places where owners would not have thought to put them.
We fine-tuned these designs through repeated communication with Mexarts, a company that specializes in furniture. Designers and developers from the interior design industry shared their opinions with us, and provided us with fresh perspectives that would not have occurred to us as instrument designers. We intend to use what we have learned from this project in instrument making, exhibitions, and other situations.

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