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.