shelf of shelves

This strange set of nesting shelving units truly goes the distance: these shelves can not only can store your books (in the big one) or bathroom accessories (in the small one), but they can even store one another in variety of modular configurations (definitely not the usual meaning of ‘self-storage units’). Sort of like functional Russian dolls.

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shelf of shelves side by side wood

Each unit has its own wood type, color and grain, setting it apart from the others – and the thickness diminishes along with the other dimensions so both vertical and horizontal elements of each remains in perfect scale with the companion shelves.

shelf of shelves nesting

A few options for combining these separate modular shelves into a single meta-shelving super-unit are shown in these pictures from Hans Tan Studio, but equally interesting are the possibilities of arraying this around a room, apartment or entire home – would your guests notice the repetitive forms from one space to the next?

The work is called “Shelf of Shelves,” fittingly enough.

“A display shelf incessantly displays itself without the participation of decorative objects. With a composition of four independent shelf units of proportionately diminishing sizes, each unit suggests a distinctive content by describing its own space and may be repositioned to create varying configurations.”

shelf of shelves arrangement

About designer Hans Tan:

“Hans Tan is a designer and an educator based in Singapore. His work tiptoes on the boundaries between design, craft and art. He believes that design not only helps us “do”, design also helps us “understand” – his practice deploys design as medium, making use of utility as a pretext for visual discourse, while maintaining a keen focus in developing materials and processes. The embedded narratives in his works comment on design and its industry as a phenomenon, especially in the context of heritage, consumption and waste.”

“In 2009, Hans was spotted by Designnet magazine Korea as one of 36 Young Asian Designers, and was a winner of the Martell Rising Personalities Award 2009 which honours individuals from different creative fields who are passionately driven to push beyond the boundaries of success. He was awarded with the distinction of “Les Découvertes” (best innovative product) at the fall edition of Maison et Objet 2012 in Paris, and he is a two-time winner of Design of the Year at the President’s Design Award, Singapore’s highest design accolade.”