No still images can do justice to just how clever, functional and elegant these hinge designs by Sugatsune are. Some of them just work faster, smoother and better than normal hinges while others allow you to save space and open things in entirely new and different ways, moving doors into hidden pockets or pulling them out and sliding them smoothly and seamlessly past one another.

As Core77 reports, “Catches, latches, slides, hinges, and more: Japanese manufacturer Sugatsune specializes in making cabinets open in ways no one else can. Vertical lift doors, horizontal bi-folding doors, and their unbelievable ‘Multiple Motion Sliding Door System’ were all designed for space-tight Japan, where swinging even a cabinet door open in the regular way can cause problems.”

Hardware is often under-considered by designers, an after-the-fact accessory to be chosen by builders rather than integrated into a design. The tragedy is: doors and cabinets are critical objects of everyday use we touch, open and close. Innovative hardware designers like these are a good reminder that everything can be the object of good industrial design in terms of both form and function.