This year, three design events, namely, “Tokyo Designer’s Week,” “Design Tide” and “Design Touch” will take place simultaneously. A lot! This pic is from last year's merriment.

How to survive this Tokyo Design Week 2007!

First, take a deep breath! We know it’s quite an overkill of great design on offer in no less than three fairs from this Wednesday, October 31st. And then there are all those receptions, openings, gatherings, parties… It’s that time again when Tokyo fills up with design folks from all over the world (spot them by their hipster apparel). DesignTide has moved its main site to the National Stadium in Aoyama, so access to and from Tokyo Designer’s Week in nearby Jingu Gaien should become a lot easier. And a new event called “Design Touch” has joined the fun at Tokyo Midtown. Too much of information? Relax, grab your meishi (business card) and let us take you by the hand, with tips and useful info to make it fun!

Written by the PingMag All-Stars

1. Grab a program in advance

First of all, pick up the official program – well, actually three programs – to get the basics on the numerous exhibitions. Pay close attention to the little notes that indicate receptions and openings. As usual, these programs are available from most stylish interior shops in the Shibuya, Aoyama and Harajuku areas. And you’ll find it at Super Deluxe, of course.

Omg! Lost in colourful flyers, info, catalogues…

2. Storm the pre-opening parties

It’s going to be a barrage of parties, but we recommend roaming the events held the night before the official openings. That’s when people are still fresh and burning with enthusiasm, so you’ll have fun chatting with all these like-minded people.

Tuesday, October 30th
Top pick must be the “DesignTide” opening@National Stadium, but if you don’t make it (and there’s no invite in sight), drop by “SDLX 5th Anniversary & Snack Nagako 2nd Anniversary” @ Super Deluxe where you’ll meet most of the same folks that attended the earlier party. Doors open from 8pm, admission ¥1,000.

Then, on Wednesday, October 31th,
you can follow up with the opening party of “100% Design” at Jingu Gaien. Doors open from 6pm.

3. Start from “DesignTide”

DesignTide is an event that gives fresh opportunities to selected designers and enterprises, and this year, the main venue has been relocated from the building along Meiji Street to the Kasumigaoka National Stadium. The 2007 show is categorised under five themes and take place at around fifty venues across central Tokyo. If that number has your head whirling, fear not – here are some key projects to watch out for:

Play around with “Tide Think”

This project, at the main site, is all about “Play.” Twenty-four designers try to find new ways of communicating through play, including PingMag’s friends, Alexander Gelman, Shantell Martin, Heath Nash and Dainippon Type Organization… this is going to be a great one!


Heath Nash from South Africa will show his play-themed work at “Tide Think.” Yep, he was on Ping before.

Creative collective from London, “Abake,” will also be participating. We are curious!

“Tide Exhibition” and “Tide Extension:” sophistication, please!

The key feature on the main site will be Tide Exhibition, and Tide Extension that is spread across numerous shops and galleries in the Aoyama, Harajuku, Shibuya, Roppongi and Marunouchi areas. So, take a walk for all of this product, interior, furniture and art design. Participating designers include Marti Guixe, Michael Young, Jurgen Bey and so many more.

So much awesome stuff! Fifty creators take part in the “Tide Exhibition.”
This year, “Tide Extension” has been extended to Marunouchi for the first time: Watch out for upcoming Swedish Style at the Marucube space on the ground floor of the Marunouchi Building.

Shoppe! At the “Tide Market”

At “Tide Market,” you can buy handmade craft and design works directly from around 30 participating designers, especially aspiring young talents. How about shopping while socializing face-to-face with the creators?

This year’s Tide Market is looking to be even bigger…

Also, drop by the Aosando Art Fair, from October 31st to November 4th, close by!
In the area between Aoyama Dori and Omotesando Dori, galleries and shops collaborate for an art fair and will have arty entertainment by Nanzuka Underground, Point, and YUMIKO CHIBA ASSOCIATES galleries. Check out the map here.
Reception party: November 1st from 19:00 – 21:00 at HP Deco.

Exhibition Grounds
“DesignTide”
Main Site: National Stadium (Yoyogi Gate)
Date: Wednesday, October 31st – Sunday, November 4th from 10:00 – 20:00 (11/4 close at 17:00)
Admission: ¥1,000. One ticket for all five days!
Nearest Station: Kokuritsu Kyogijo – Toei Oedo Line (3 minutes walk from exit A2), Sendagaya – JR line (7 minutes walk) or Gaienmae – Ginza Line (15 minutes walk).

4. Also check out Tokyo Designer’s Week

This year sees the 22nd Tokyo Designer’s Week, and the main venue will be the usual Jingu Gaien, where many remarkable events will be hosted, including “100% Design” that received such a positive response last year.

A giant “Love Button” – the logo of 100% Design Tokyo – three meters in diameter will tower over the entrance of the main site. You won’t miss that!

What else? A new booth about lighting will start at this year’s “100% Design Tokyo”

No, we didn’t forget the 100% Design Tokyo trade show with more than 100 participating designers and companies. This year will feature Michael Young as creative director and, charmingly, a sex toy chandelier to decorate the entrance!

“100% Design Tokyo,” as seen last year.

Visit the future designers at “The Container Ground”

At the Container Exhibition, there will be lots of companies and design schools displaying their new and interesting projects, all inside small containers (as you might remember from previous years). This year, there will be “Cooperative Containers” with businesses and academic institutions collaborating, as well as containers by foreign designers.

From the 2006 “Container Exhibition”: This elegant container featured KENZO’s perfumes.

“Student Exhibition” for future designers

Forty-three Japanese design schools and five from abroad will show their concepts and designs at the Student Exhibition. Have a look at these future designers’ developments under the theme of “street furniture for environmentally friendly parks.”

From the 2006 “Student Exhibition”: Though it’s getting dark, the site is still crowded.

“Blickfang” for fashion lovers!

Blickfang is a Swiss fashion trade show, where designers from notable European interior, fashion and jewelery brands display and sell their own works. Last year, Blickfang entertained us with a fabulous assortment of colourful designs. Make sure you check it out again this year.

Beautiful hats are from Eva Kim Heu in last year’s “Blickfang”. This year, Blickfang will be hosted at the main site.

Exhibition Grounds
Tokyo Designer’s Week
Main Site: Jingu Gaien
Date: Wednesday, October 31st – Sunday, November 4th, open 10:00 – 21:00.
Admission: 2,000 yen (500 yen discount with pre-registration)
Nearest Station: Shinanomachi – JR line, Gaienmae – Ginza Line, or Aoyama Itchome – Ginza Line.

5. Don’t forget the new “Design Touch!”

Joining the line-up this year is Design Touch, located inside new consumer paradise Tokyo Midtown. For this event, several embassies will exhibit unique designs from their countries. There will also be a conference, featuring Ross Lovegrove and Arnout Visser, on ‘ways of enjoying design.’

Nearest Station: Nogizaka – Chiyoda Line or Roppongi – Hibiya, Oedo lines.

6. Limited Period Only: Visit the special café!

Last year, SELAN, the Italian restaurant at Jingu Gaien, won our hearts so easily with “Deza-don” – Donburi dishes designed by prominent creators – and this year, it returns again for a limited period under the name of Casa BRUTUS Café! And for this year, it’s going to be “Deza-Pasta!” After a good walk around the exhibition, how about a designer pasta dish by Michael Young, Yasumichi Morita, Ryue Nishizawa, Kihachi Kumagai and a special dolce designed by Yuko Nagayama? Yum!

7. Join in the parties

Needless to say, there will be myriad events to accompany these exhibitions. If you‘re in for the networking, show up at as many events as possible – and NEVER forget your meishi! We strongly recommend you take ukon before, those little yellow turmeric tablets or drinks you can pick up at every convenience store. Your stomach will dearly love you for protecting it!

Pecha Kucha Night at Super Deluxe: This time, it’s going to be at the DesignTide site!

Thursday, November 1st

“Pecha Kucha Night x Design Tide” @ National Stadium (Aoyama Gate)
The big thing including Pecha Kucha book launch – don’t miss!
Time: 18:00 – 22:00, Admission: ¥1,000.

“SDLX 5th Anniversary & Pecha Kucha After Party” @ Super Deluxe
Open: 20:00 – 5:00, Admission: 1,000 yen

Friday, November 2nd

“SDLX 5th Anniversary & Miss Apolo” @ Super Deluxe
Open: 20:00 – 5:00, Admission: 1,000 yen

Last BUT NOT LEAST:
Minimal Tokyo @ UNIT
A Minimal Tokyo all nighter featuring Trimsound live: Tom Ellis and Leif (UK); and the Minimal Tokyo all-stars: GLMN, Tatsuya, Ivan Kuzbass, Bob Rogue, NODJ, Ryuu, and so many more.
Visuals by Shantell, GLMN, Assistant + PMKFA, Moa, Bento, Teru, Spielfilm, and even more…
Open: 23:00 – 6:00, Admission ¥3,500 (¥3,000 with flyer or DesignTide 2007 booklet).

Hope to hook up with you somewhere in this designful mayhem!

Design Week without a little sip of sparkling wine? Don’t forget the yellow “ukon” (turmeric) drink after!
  • may

    looking forward to more posts on tdw! wish i could be there…

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    I am so sad, i have to miss these events again, maybe next year. :_^(

    when i got enough money for the trip.

  • Vicente

    Here we go!

  • Pingback: Global Voices Online » Japan: Design Week 2007

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  • zhin

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    be there soon…
    Lime Studio is coming to Tokyo

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    Wow! Have a great time!!

  • John

    I swear by Ukon

  • John

    I swear by Ukon, but its better to drink before actually.

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    The pre-party at Super Deluxe was great. It didn’t pick up till about 11pm but it was running still 5am… too bad I couldn’t stay for the whole thing.

    The live art performance was entertaining though.

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