Posts Tagged ‘product design’

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.)

DesignTide Tokyo 2011

Friday, November 4th, 2011

As it does annually DesignTide Tokyo gave us a peek at prototypes, celebrated innovation and showed us how elegant ideas are worth their weight in gold.

Click on the thumbnails below to see what turned our heads.

Photos by Mio Yamada

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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