Adding Color to Your Piano Lifestyle: The CC-7 Piano Stool, Expertly Designed in Collaboration with CRASH GATE
The Privia PX-S7000 piano offers not only a stylish appearance with a wide field of sound that blend harmoniously with any room, but also provides a professional playing experience and comfortable way to interact with music. Unlike the conventional idea of a large black piano placed against a wall, the Privia PX-S7000 breaks away from these preconceptions and redefines the concept of having a piano in one's life. To further enhance this experience, the CC-7 piano stool was created to accompany it.
The four key individuals involved in the creation process spoke about their vision and ideas behind the stool.
Casio and CRASH GATE Unite to Create High-Design Piano Stool
Takuro Mori, who is the general manager of the CRASH GATE division of Seki Furniture, explained that their goal is to expand their brand by creating new lifestyles for the world and providing happiness and excitement to people. CRASH GATE is the first brand created internally at Seki Furniture, and it encourages people to experiment with combining things that stimulate and interest them to realize their ideal lifestyle.
Takuro went on to further explain that “At CRASH GATE, we create stores and develop items that add humor to everyday life. Our philosophy is to encounter exciting things, and we want our customers to experience the same thrill as we do when discovering new things.” Anna Anna, who is in charge of Privia at Casio, felt a connection with the concept of the PX-S7000 and CRASH GATE, which led her to collaborating with them in developing a piano chair.
The PX-S7000 digital piano was designed under the concept of "Style, Reimagined" to challenge traditional notions of pianos as instruments and to free people from fixed ideas about their lifestyles. Many people associate playing the piano at home with silent practice facing a wall, rather than playing freely and being able to fully enjoy the experience. The PX-S7000, however, aims to break these stereotypes by providing a piano that can be placed anywhere, has high-quality acoustics, sound, and keyboard performance without sacrificing aesthetics. The piano's design features straight lines with a fresh and modern feeling, making it an ideal fit for any interior. Our goal was to create a new type of piano that allows players to feel liberated and free to play in various moods and environments. To achieve this, we recognized the importance of having a matching stool, and so we started this project.
Casio had previously produced satisfactory piano benches, but we aimed to create a stool with superior interior design qualities that would complement the form and color of the piano, as opposed to a typical large, black, square piano bench. After comparing multiple existing products, we discovered that the concept presented by CRASH GATE aligned with Privia's brand statement of "In Harmony with Life" and we believed their product quality to be superior. When we consulted with CRASH GATE, they quickly grasped Casio's vision for the PX-S7000 and understood what it would take to create the ideal piano stool. CRASH GATE is renowned for pushing the boundaries of design and being open to collaborations during the development process.
Functionality and Style in Harmony; A Unique Piano Stool
When Yuko Mitsuura, the manager of CRASH GATE, first saw the "PX-S7000," she was amazed by its ground breaking design, exclaiming "Wow, this is truly innovative, isn't it?" She felt that CASIO's ambition to create a piano that could transform the perception of traditional pianos and fit seamlessly with any room's interior decoration perfectly matched CRASH GATE's own design philosophy, which aims to break free from established concepts.
We worked closely with CASIO to develop a top-quality product that could meet even the strictest standards, driven by our shared desire to create something exceptional. Of course, quality is crucial to earning the trust of our customers. We exchanged ideas and collaborated with the factory to create a matching stool that aligned with the key concept of placing the piano at the center of the room, making it easier to enjoy the music. I feel delighted that we were finally able to create a stool that met our shared vision.
The stool's design was carefully crafted to complement the "PX-S7000. "The straight legs of the stool perfectly match the stand of the 'PX-S7000,'" Yamasaki confidently exclaims. "Vintage stools tend to have shorter legs and more curves, but we made the legs straight to create a modern form," adds Takuro.
CRASH GATE’s Hidetoshi Ochiai, who oversaw the discussions and negotiations with the factory during the development process, believes that the "PX-S7000" is a piano that creates a whole new world of musical possibilities beyond established concepts. He also shares the difficulties they faced in creating a stool that combines that worldview with the necessary functionality.
The most challenging aspect was definitely the multitude of tests we had to go through. We had to repeat physical tests over and over again, gradually improving its weak points along the way. Dealing with wood, in particular, posed some unique challenges since it has characteristics that can cause it to change shape such as swelling, shrinking or developing cracks etc.We had to carefully consider how to reinforce the wood while taking into account its grain, and then test it repeatedly to ensure that it was up to par. Successfully completing these tests took a lot of time and effort, which made it a difficult part of the process. There were certain aspects that could have been easily resolved if we didn't have to follow such a unique design philosophy, but we couldn't compromise on the overall vision of the PX-S7000.
The attention to detail that went into the color scheme of the "PX-S7000" is also very impressive. They even went so far as to blend paint with red and blue hues in increments of 0.1% to ensure a perfect match with the piano's aesthetic. Anna was so moved by this dedication that he expressed his surprise at the extraordinary attention to detail. Takuro added that they had never gone to such lengths before. The "CC-7" model has two color lineups, "Light" and "Dark", that are designed to complement the piano's color scheme.
To reproduce the wood grain, they first painted the beech wood with a brown color to create the wood grain pattern, then painted over it with light gray. Matching the color of the already finished "PX-S7000" was a difficult task, especially when it came to matching other materials with the color. It was more difficult to match the light color than the dark color. When finishing off with a dark color, it blends in relatively well, but when trying to make it brighter, the more paint you apply, the more the wood grain disappears. It took time, but they were able to achieve a good color scheme where the wood grain is still visible and the color is just right. The color may appear different depending on whether it is viewed in indoor or outdoor lighting, so they made fine adjustments to the paint, carefully comparing the results under different types of lighting until we fully satisfied with the final result.
This approach allows the wood grain to be visible and the color to be matched with the stand of the "PX-S7000". Anna also mentioned the attention to detail that comes with a product designed by CRASH GATE, saying, "I was really impressed when we received multiple color swatch samples. We considered which color from those samples would best match the stand of the 'PX-S7000'.
Takuro explains that they chose beech wood as the material due to its unique combination of hardness and resilience. Unlike some woods that can become brittle and break easily upon impact when they harden, beech wood has a pliable quality that makes it a very durable material. Anna adds that using natural wood offers the advantage of each piece having its own unique character. However, she also acknowledges the challenges that come with working with natural wood, such as conducting strength tests to ensure the wood can withstand various levels of humidity and temperature without any abnormalities occurring. Takuro notes that these tests were especially demanding when it came to natural wood, but they were able to successfully overcome them which gave them a great sense of relief.
Since pianos are often found in people's homes and the stool is used at various times, it can be easy for them to accumulate dirt and stains. To address this, special fabrics that are easy to clean were chosen for the seat covering, among many other careful considerations to improve the user experience. In addition, the height of the seat can be finely adjusted by rotating the seat part of the stool. Anna notes that being able to make subtle adjustments to the height of the seat is an important point for piano players, as it allows them to customize the stool to their body size and personal preferences.
The high level of functionality is evident thanks to the close attention to detail. When playing pianos, it's common to consider pedal operation and reaching from low to high notes, which means sitting on the stool with a shallow posture. Therefore it was also carefully designed to ensure a stable position while playing. Anna mentioned that "if the cushion is too soft, it won't be stable and it will affect the performance. We carefully considered the size, thickness, and material to strike a balance between comfort and stability, thinking from the perspective of an instrument manufacturer." Takuro added that "the seat is slightly larger than usual," explaining that adjustments were necessary for the legs to maintain stability due to the larger seat size.
When playing pianos, the comfort of the stool is also important. The design of this stool was made with the assumption that you will be sitting for long periods of time, unlike typical interior stools. "As for the comfort of the seat, we made it by carving out the wooden seat and embedding cushions into it to achieve maximum comfort when playing. Usually, when we make stools, we don't consider sitting on it for long periods of time. However, this time we emphasized the comfort for piano players as a unique functional aspect of the stool. By using thick urethane foam, we made a stool that can be sat on for long periods of time. In addition, we made the cushion part look thinner by embedding it in the wooden seat giving it a sophisticated look," explains Takuro. Anna, who had multiple pianists try out the stool to test its comfort, nods and adds, "It's because of that thickness that you don't get tired even after playing for a long time. The people who actually tried it out said they could sit and play the piano or practice for a long time, and they complimented how comfortable the seat was compared to conventional models." According to Anna, the cushion fabric was also chosen from amongst multiple samples by both CRASH GATE and CASIO's designers to harmonize with the "PX-S7000" speaker fabric and piano cover. This stool is the product of the combined perspectives and attention to detail of an interior design brand and CASIO’s own designers. "Not only did they listen to our wishes as a musical instrument manufacturer, but they also made use of their specific know-how as an interior design company. CASIO alone could not have made this stool," says Anna.
Stringent Exam Criteria Met, Resulting in Creation of Excellent New Stool.
As they stand before the completed stool, Anna smiles and says, "I think the testing conditions were tough, but we managed to successfully create a piano stool that combines both design and functionality." Takuro has a look of satisfaction and says, "I'm really looking forward to seeing people around the world use it."
The "PX-S7000" helps create a more luxurious and flexible lifestyle, and the "CC-7"’s appearance and functionality has been specifically designed for the "PX-S7000," supporting a musical experience that defies convention.