Clever Wooden Bookends Mimic Tokyo’s Narrow Back Alleys Lit Up at Night

Back Alley Bookshelf by Monde

Photo: monde via Twitter

Based in Tokyo, Japanese designer monde has created a new category of art and design—bookshelf dioramas. His wood inserts transform ordinary bookshelves into something magical and bring the feel of a Japanese back alley into your home. Monde's “back alley bookshelves” first caused a stir when the designer debuted them at the arts and crafts event Design Festa.

Monde was shocked by the attention his project received. “It was the first time that the work had echoed so far. I made a thing that I would like to make in a small way, not only in Japan, but also for people overseas such as the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada,” he shared with BuzzFeed Japan.

Inspired by Tokyo, his work carefully mirrors the dizzying feeling of wandering the city's back alleys. Monde has been working on the project for two years, using different materials to create the look and feel of the city. He's even added lights to some models, which give a soft glow that emanates from the bookshelf. This newer model is also sized perfectly to sit between paperback novels.

Encouraged by the reception his work is receiving, monde is taking orders for customers who would like their own “back alley bookshelf.” Inquiries can be made via DM on Twitter.

Japanese designer monde creates dioramas of Tokyo's back alleys that cleverly slip onto a bookshelf.

Bookshelf Diorama by Monde

Photo: riku_ton via Twitter

There's even a curving path that's lit up like a real back alley at night.

Back Alley Bookshelf by Monde

Photo: monde via Twitter

monde: Twitter
h/t: [Twister Sifter]

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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