It is generally easier to stack linear things – or so conventional wisdom goes. But what happens when you add just the tiniest twist – or tilt – to such traditional approaches? Things can get a little more complicated… and a lot more visually interesting.

Take, for example, a modular bookshelf design that’s still generally functional, but just off kilter enough to look extra cool.

These simple-seeming shelves address multiple issues at once: books are meant to lean, not stand straight, and stackable systems need to nest in order to work (which often means matching pieces on both top and bottom).

By adding just a few degrees via a slight extension on one side, all of these typical dilemmas are tackled, with gravity doing the work to keep your books safe and your shelves stacked.  Designed by MicroWorks.

4° (four degrees)
Bookshelves are flat, so if your collection is incomplete,
you have to put the books on an angle so they don’t collapse,
and as a result they bend and become damaged.
Because ‘4°’ leans on a 4 degree angle it allows gravity and math to protect your books,
leaving your unique bookshelf neat.
design: MicroWorks, 2006
material: MDF
status: prototypephoto (c) MicroWorks

About the design studio, Japan-based Micro Works:

A design studio established in 2003 by Shunsuke Kaiyama.
With the cooperation of various factories and craftsmen, we plan, design, and sell original products by proper production instead of mass production.

“In 2013, a 60-year-old private house with a studio was self-renovated, and the atelier and space “Suginami Uminoie” was opened.
Although various exhibitions and events were being held, it closed in September 2018 due to the circumstances of the property.
“In March 2019, relocated to Shinagawa Ward and reopened as ‘umi neue.’
In addition to original products, we sell antiques, tools, parts and objects with ambiguous purposes, and also hold various exhibitions and events.