Posts Tagged ‘interior design’

Isetan Mitsukoshi Design Week

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Today, the Isetan Department in Shinjuku launches its Designers Week product fair “Hand Made By For Me,” featuring numerous lifestyle brands across various floors of the Isetan main building. The fair runs till Nov. 5 and with all items also available to purchase, it could be a good opportunity to get a little Christmas shopping in early.

We took a sneak peak last night and selected some of our favorite Japanese designs.

Can Etsy’s crafty goodness be recycled in Japan?

Monday, May 27th, 2013

On May 16, NTT DoCoMo launched d creators, an online market service for creative people in Japan. Similar to Etsy, all the items available are handmade and the content is user generated. Unlike Etsy, though, to sell and buy via the website, you will need a Japanese bank account and purchases are made using bank transfers. This means that it’s likely that the majority of products are being designed and made in Japan, and judging from the exhibition held last weekend (May 25-26) at Daikanyama T-Site Gallery, quite a few of the goods do appear to inspired by Japanese aesthetics.

The website was created for NTT DoCoMo by the advertising agency Dentsu, who have so far curated the current sellers and their goods. Predictably, some of the chosen creators may be familiar to those who like to peruse Tokyo’s design stores. There’s Kokechi’s kokeshi dolls, for example, and Ribbonesia’s brooches. The standards are pretty high, and prices vary, but anyone is allowed to sell products via the site, so there will be more variety in the future.

Products available online include interior goods, accessories, tableware, art, fashion, textiles — even comics, novels and essays.

There’s also information on hands-on workshops led by sellers, the next one being held by Ribbonesia at the Fab cafe in Shibuya on June 9.

Tokyo Designers Week 2012

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

It’s that Tokyo Designers Week time of year again. The main event sees the usual collage of temporary structures (shipping containers, a huge dome tent, etc.) on the lawn at Meiji-jingu Gaien. The theme – which to be honest doesn’t really sound like a theme at all – is Hello Design! Interpret that as you like.

New this year is a section on architecture, with a collection of models, both experimental and ones that are or will be real structures. There’s also an art fair run by Gallery Tagboat and a whole row of digital content exhibitions. All of which means that there is actually less of the usual stuff – like chairs and lights. Hello Design?

There is more product design action over at Design Tide, being held at Tokyo Midtown, where the nendo Bottleware collection we featured earlier this week is on display. There’s also a whole gaggle of exhibits and installations at shops and galleries around Tokyo (though mostly around Aoyama) under the banner Tide Extension. So yes, there is plenty to see!

All together, it’s mostly Japanese designers, both established and just out of school, but there are quite a few other nationalities represented, too. Taiwan, Singapore, Norway and Israel, for example, all have booths this year. Several Korean universities occupied containers along with their Japanese counterparts in the student section.

Tokyo Designers Week runs until Nov. 5 (and Design Tide until the 4th). There will also be a mega PechaKucha night at the main event on Oct. 31.

Or just stay in and check out our gallery. (Photos by Rebecca Milner. Click on the thumbnails to read more about each photo.)

Today’s J-blip: Ikea pops up all over Cat Street

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Moved by the plight of homeless people in Tokyo Ikea Japan has … Making a bold commentary on the rabbit-hutches that Tokyoites have been conditioned to tolerate, Ikea Japan has …   Doing a spin on pop-up shops, Ikea Japan has invaded hinter Harajuku and wedged 14 “galleries” into various nooks and crannies on Cat Street. With a name that plays on the Japanese word for “gap,” Sukima Gallery is not only a clever way to bring a catalog to life and showcase Ikea interiors in the city (all the Ikea stores are located in the suburbs), but also an inspired social media campaign: Choose which one you like with an ”ii nee” and then enter a lottery for a chance to win a gallery of Swedish stuff. Naturally, some assembly will still be required. Launched on July 31, the event ends Aug. 5.

What rolled in with the DesignTide

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

DesignTide exhibition and market opened for business last Saturday and we went along Monday to check out the sleek and sexy new objects on show at Tokyo Midtown.

The or-ita allows you to easily fold corrugated cardboard

The or-ita allows you to easily fold corrugated cardboard

At the top of our wish list was the or-ita by Makoto Orisaki/inter_works Lab.’s, an awesome tool that allows you to cut into corrugated cardboard and form creases that then enable you to mold the cardboard into interesting shapes.

folding-stuff

Naoki Kawamoto’s Orishiki and Mic*Itaya’s lamps

Still on a folding tip, Naoki Kawamoto’s cool Orishiki, which unfold and easily fold back into solid containers. I tried out the glasses case and it proved surprisingly easy to manipulate despite its complex look.

Folds surfaced yet again with Mic*Itaya updated versions of traditional Japanese lamp designs (above right). The lamps not only look modern but also are designed to switch themselves off and on again when you clap your hands. (Well, they’re designed to do that, but in reality this function only worked sporadically.)

Daisuke Motogi's Lost in Sofa and Yuki Yamamoto's ReLine chair

Daisuke Motogi’s Lost in Sofa and Yuki Yamamoto’s ReLine chair

Tou's glove scarf

Tou’s glove scarf

In terms of furniture, Daisuke Motogi‘s Lost in Sofa got our vote for the most innovative concept. The sofa’s rather suggestive tag line is “anything can be inserted anywhere,” and as you can see from the photo, that’s true!

We also liked Yuki Yamamoto’s ReLine series of chairs, which are designed to physically represent mathmatical formulas when viewed in profile. Made from tubing normally used for medical purposes, they’re also super comfortable.

Lastly, Tou’s lovely knitwear (right), on sale at the Design Market near the exit, caught our eye. Humorous and trendy, we liked the long hand scarf pictured but the arrow design was also a bit hit.

Superlative design blows into Tokyo

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Unlike the grey pre-typhoon skies, Tokyo Design week was decked out in a cheerful bright blue hue

Unlike the gray pre-typhoon skies, Tokyo Designers Week was decked out in a cheerful bright blue hue

Celebrating its 25th year, Tokyo Designers Week kicked off last Friday. The theme this year was “Environment,” which seemed a bit of a cheat since last year took an ecological theme as well. However, the color chosen to represent the show changed from green to blue – which was  a good thing because unlike last year, the skies were a gloomy shade of grey. The blurb on the website stated: “The term ‘environment’ we regard is not just ecological environment concerning issues such as global warming but in a more collective means of ‘living environment’ including conditions of our mind and body to have affluent living.”

No, we didn’t really get it either, but at least the ideas on display stood on their own.

Field Four Design Office's Hanging Plants and Mie Matsubara's cardboard origami blinds

Field Four Design Office’s Hanging Plants and Mie Matsubara’s cardboard origami blinds

As with last year, there was a lot of cool shiny stuff on show for us to coo over.  We were especially impressed with designs that updated the traditional Japanese aesthetic, like Mie Matsubara‘s super groovy origami window blinds (shown above) that fold out gradually allowing you to regulate the amount of light you’d like in an a room. Both super-strong black cardboard and wood versions were on display, but surprisingly the cardboard looked like the least flimsy of the two. We also dug the hanging garden of tsuri-shinobu hanging plants (above), from Field Four Design Office, which had fluffy ferns growing out of the top of the traditional hanging moss ball.

Shimada Touki's crockery sets

Shimada Touki

Mossy stuff was seeping into other design booths too, and Shimada Touki’s lovely crockery sets, really stood out with lovely trailing ivy, flower and bird motifs painted on.

Kaito Ehara's folding table/Shinya Ito and Kaori Yamamoto's DND Mirror

Kaito Ehara’s folding table/Shinya Ito and Kaori Yamamoto’s DND Mirror

Ingenious ideas abounded but one of our favorites was Shinya Ito and Kaori Yamamoto’s DND (Do Not Disturb) Mirror. We also thought that Kaito Ehara’s folding table was a really elegant way to save space in the home.

Have fun on the spinny chairs or collect the specially designed WWF stamp.

Have fun on the spinny chairs or collect the specially designed WWF stamp.

The show continues until Nov. 3 and is well worth a visit, especially now that the typhoon has passed (the show had to be cancelled on Saturday due to extreme weather conditions). Obviously, this post doesn’t cover everything on display, but we will say that it would be a crime to miss playing around on the spinning top chairs in the entrance hall or the chance to collect the specially designed WWF stamps also laid out at the front of the tent exhibition area.  If you don’t make it to Meiji-Jingu there are countless stores around Tokyo celebrating good design, as well as affiliated events.

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