Oh my, there was so much visual pleasure for us all! We’re still in total awe about this year’s Design Week in Tokyo… Today you can have a look at the eye candy PingMag gathered for you! Here we go with the BEST OF, seen at the DesignTide and Tokyo Designer’s Week sites and lots of connected places around the city.
Written by the PingMag All-Stars
Our extensive TOP 20:
Why 20…? We don’t want to see it as a ranking – these are simply 21 ideas we found most lovley!
1. Great Idea:
FULGURO at IDEE (TideThink)
Furniture designers-cum-graphic designers-cum-product designers, FULGURO’s graphic design background is evident in their current products: their cute creations have a geometric, sophisticated quality about them. Very eco, too! (We like Swiss design, and they’re from Lausanne!)
2. Most Exciting Space:
Hoya Crystal Tokyo (Tide Extension)
Like a Japanese version of Swarovski – very urban, very trendy, very Tokyo, the Hoya Crystal concept store is well worth a visit. Once very traditional, but now quite creative with its crystal, Hoya currently collaborates with many young, up-and-coming artists. The whole shop is dark inside with lots of shiny crystals. It’s like being in a mysterious, fairytale castle.
3. Sauciest Exhibition:
Honey Trap: Mavo at Jam Home Made (Tide Extension)
Coffin-shaped sanitary box? Why not! By Mavo,
Condom shooting guns! By Mavo.
A plastic gun that shoots condoms, a pillow with detachable braided whip, a coffin-shaped sanitary box … we can’t wait to talk to Mavo’s saucy designer Masayuki Takahashi personally! Kinky, sexy, truly interesting concepts are at work here.
4. Most ‘Fun Fun Fun’ Project:
Abake “Limo typography” at TideThink
Abake’s “limo typography” is, at first glance, a simple black screen with several slots in it. But when you and your buddies jump behind it, you can stick your arms through the slots and make words or images out of your arms. Fun for the whole family… or, as one of the designers demonstrated when he grabbed random people to help him spell things – it’s a good way to make new friends, too!
5. Most Japanese Exhibition:
Daibutsu at Shop Detail (Tide Extension)
Oh, cute! With Gendaibijutsu Nitouhey’s 3kg dumbbell modeled after a traditional kokeshi doll, you can spruce up your house, or spruce up your muscles! This group also featured an Elvis-style daruma: after the wishes this daruma prayed for didn’t come true, he loosened up a bit and got himself a King-style makeover. Borderline ridiculous but still very funny, and very Japanese humour!
6. Best-Organized exhibition:
Fresh Air in Spanish Design: Spain Playtime at Spanish Embassy
“Fresh Air in Spanish Design,” indeed!
Humorous display at the Spanish Embassy.
It was like a playground! Lots of fun, creative design, and wonderful Spanish hospitality; the Spanish Design staff offered wine, cheese and fresh ham (needless to say: it was SO tasty!) and they even had a football table! More like a fun place to be, rather than a too-serious design booth. Gracias!
A Disko Toto! Art cube at 100% Design Tokyo.
Bonus – Most ‘Disco Revival’:
Toto x Hiroshi Nakamura at 100% Design Tokyo
Two words: disco toilet. Need we say more?
Note: We loved it, but we wouldn’t want it in our home…
7. Enchanting Visual Stimuli:
Team Lab at the Japan Brand tent of TDW
To give the Japanese products at the Japan Brand tent a little bit of entertaining, Tokyo-based Team Lab created AWESOME visual/anime with traditional Japanese motifs. That’s not all: They did it before when they created a mobile phone prototype for KDDI/AU this summer with its surface/interface consisting entirely of a screen, and touch screen respectively. See a koi swimming over their actface – Rhythm cell phone interface here, and retro pixel worlds blinking on the actface – Play mobile here.
8. Cyclists Unite for Bike Fashion!
Reflector Fashion by AgotoB at 100% Design Tokyo
The fixie event during Design Week on last Sunday at Yoyogi Park proved it once more – practical bike gear has to look stylish, always! We got so much into the reflector magnets by “Urban Vehicle Agency” AgotoB that we wouldn’t take them off our apparel for the last days! Wait for more of their fabulous gadgets we’ll show you here soonish…
9. Reviving German Porcelain Tradition
Theosaurus by Morphorm at Blickfang
Oh! Oh! A piggy bank made of German porcelain by Morphorm. Seen at Blickfang.
Now we get into “the fine art of saving” – with a cutsie cute piggy bank on two feet! The Theosaurus by Martin Schatz of Morphorm has a sleek shape, made in collaboration with one of the oldest German porcelain manufacturers. A “Sparschwein,” a piggy bank? Yes! It’s decorated with traditional gold and blue motifs that were used on exquisite crockery.
10. Handmade Home Cinema:
Pixel Factory by Kenichi Okada at Tide Think
This is so old-school – combined with the digital age! Kenichi Okada really played around with our perception with his many Pixel Factory artefacts. Like in the times when film was invented more than hundred years ago, he made a celluloid reel – but he printed it out on paper as pattern generated with software! Every visitor could make his own moving reel on a monitor, then insert the print out in a wooden box and see its animation through sliding the paper through the box. Clever!
11. Art Performance in posh Omotesando
Item Idem at Celine (Tide Extension)
Compact Cuteness at DesignTide
ARTECNICA designer Takeshi Ishiguro’s ‘pop-up light’ is a book with only one page. But when you turn the page, a light pops out, just like a pop-up book! So funny! When you’re done with it, you can fold it up and put on a bookshelf, just like a finished book. Cute and compact. Kids especially will love that, too.
13. Don’t Feed the Swedes:
Plush Surprise at DesignTide!
Truly an interesting experience! You enter a dark room, with a black wall and white stuffed bears on the floor. But when you take a flash picture, the bears’ color becomes brighter, and white images magically appear on the wall! A simple design, that is both playful and unique. Interesting because, without a flash, it’s only a black wall.
14. Chindogu at Mogra:
Useful … but Impractical Inventions at Tide Extension
What? A toilet paper holder on the head? The utmost in practicability! Ah, that must be Chindogu at Tide Extension!
A toilet paper dispenser you can attach to your head, and high-heels with tiny umbrellas to keep your toes dry… How on earth do people come up with these things? Chindogu had several funny inventions on display at Mogra gallery. Certainly you can admire the thought processes behind these inventions, and some may actually be quite useful. But there’s NO WAY you would use them.
15. Designer Origami by Takayuki Senzaki:
Wicked Folded Paper at Gallery Lystig (Tide Extension)
At first, it looks like regular origami paper with a beautiful graphic design of a tree. But when folded into an origami crane, the tree pattern turns into zebra stripes, thus becoming something new once you fold it. A paper beautiful both before and after you use it!
16. Surrealistic Shelves:
BOOM by Judson Beaumont at 100% Design Tokyo
Gyrating shelf at 100% Design Tokyo, design by Judson Beaumont.
Like pieces of imaginative furniture from ‘Alice and Wonderland’, Judson Beaumont’s ‘BOOM Shelf’ looks alive! The jagged top shelves detach and can be put back together like building blocks, so the kids can have fun rebuilding it. Another one of Beaumont’s designs, his adorable ‘Pet Camper’ has a retro design, small rubber tires with tiny metal hubcaps (like a child’s play car), and just enough room for Fido or Fluffy. So silly, so unique, so sweet!
17. Most ‘Odd! … But Cute!’:
Multi-purpose Dirndltascherl from Hausfrieden.com at Blickfang
Something about the plastic animals on these Bavarian pouches for girls, the “Dirndltascherl,” makes them both cute and a bit unsettling (Maybe it’s the animals’ vacant stares…?) In any case, these multi-purpose woollen pouches are good places to stash your cell-phone, keys and loose change, and can be attached to your hip by an apron-string. Practical and homey – enough for country folks, at the same time cute and compact enough for big city folks – the designer aims to bring a piece of the Bavarian Alps to everyone’s lives.
18. Most Eco-Clever:
Cuiora Paper Products at 100% Design Tokyo
Cuiora certainly changed our perceptions of paper towel rolls! This Japanese company used thick cardboard rolls, which we usually just throw away once the paper towels or wrapping paper are used up, and made durable desk lamps, flashlights and staplers, and other items out of them.
19. Most Welcome After a Long Day of Work:
Ramo Design’s Hug Happy Chair at 100% Design Tokyo
A bright, round, plush armchair which, at first glance, has the smooth, clean, unpresuming design of an anonymous IKEA product. But when you collapse into it after a 13-hour workday at your Japanese firm, the back reclines, the legs lift up, and the chair’s armrests, headrest and leg-rests curl up into your body, giving you a full-body hug. No other piece of furniture says welcome home, honey quite like this!
20. Most Necessary:
Eco Street Furniture for Tokyo
Ever try to find a bench in Tokyo to take a break at the end of a long day? In this city of crowded sidewalks and fast walkers, it’s nearly impossible! But imagine being able to collapse into a soft, canopied chair made entirely of used burlap sacs – or a (surprisingly) comfortable bench made out of old broomsticks… These student exhibitions, created by design schools across Japan and Korea, were all eco-friendly, practical, and very much needed in Tokyo’s bench-less streets and bench-scarce parks.
Among the best creations: a metal bench which holds your umbrella overhead while you sit; a sloped cork board seat, which allows four people to sit or lounge in different ways; stools made entirely out of unwanted used clothes.
At DesignTide opening: ULESHKA! The lovely busy bee has been busy lately with gathering a Pecha Kucha documentation – out now!
That was a long list to get through! And still, there was a lot more interesting stuff we’d like to show you… So, have a little patience… We will get back to you pretty soon with more!