There were some rainy moments at last year’s Design Week... Here, some splashes from the Student Exhibition in 2007. Let's hope for plenty of sunshine!!

Get Ready For Design Week 2008

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Has one year already gone by? You bet! It’s time for Design Week Tokyo once again! From tomorrow, Thursday, October 30th, our beloved city will be overflowing with some cracking design! The main site for

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this year’s Tokyo Designers Week is, as before, the now familiar Jingu Gaien. But, attention! DESIGNTIDE TOKYO has relocated from National Stadium to Tokyo Midtown in Akasaka for a friendly get together with DESIGN TOUCH, a newcomer fair from last year. We know how easy it is to get lost with all these events coming up — so relax, we’re giving you all the updated highlights of the three major events:

Written by Chiemi
Translated by Natsumi

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DesignTide Tokyo’s logo.

As mentioned, this year’s fourth DESIGNTIDE TOKYO has moved from last year’s National Stadium to Tokyo Midtown in Akasaka. Designed by Hiroshima-based architect Makoto Tanijiri, the space won’t be the usual frenzy of booths, but instead, Tanijiri created something a resemblance of a beautiful town scape. There, “TIDE EXHIBITION” features 38 groups of designers and “TIDE MARKET” is the spot where products by 11 hot designers go on sale. Also, for you to get some fresh air and walk around town, exhibitions at more than 40 different venues collectively called “TIDE EXTENSION” will bolster this extravaganza.

Sketch of this year’s DESIGNTIDE main site by Makoto Tanijiri.

The Highlights!

So far, TIDE EXHIBITION which has spread across the city has showcased an array of international designers. However, this year’s event features a grand selection of primarily Japanese creators including design duo Pompelmo who met each other while staying at Fabrica, enamel, a design unit comprised of Ryoji and Sayuri Ishioka who focus on graphics, and Toshitsugu Fujiwara/FAMO DESIGN WORKS, who create works that entertain both young and old. Moreover, design hotel Claska in Meguro and the Isetan Shinjuku department store will also participate, meaning we would love to explore the Meguro and Shinjuku areas as well!

And hurry, don’t forget to pick up the catalogue! The DESIGNTIDE TOKYO’s booklet with all the details of the participating designers and related events will be distributed at the main site’s entrance, but keep in mind there is only a limited number of copies so make sure to get there early!

Thursday, October 30th, 2008, until Monday, November 3rd (Bank Holiday!)
Main Site: Tokyo Midtown Hall (nearest station: Nogizaka) and other locations across Tokyo.
Admission: ¥1,000 (1 day)

Some of the awesome goodies you can grab at this year’s TIDE MARKET. Photo by Shunya Kawai

2. Plenty to See: “Tokyo Designers Week!”

Tokyo Designers Week’s logo and the one from last year’s 100% design.

This year, as one of the largest design events in Japan, Tokyo Designers Week is having its 23rd anniversary (!) already at the main Jingu Gaien site. The main event would be the interior product trade show 100% design but, as before, it’ll also feature the Container Exhibition in — cargo containers, 100% futures organised by students and Blickfang fashion trade show for European designers.

The Highlights!

Last year’s 100% design tokyo had the highest turnout of more than 85,000 visitors This year, it will be divided into 10 categories, including “100% Prototype,” “100% Lights” and “100% Shop.” Also, the World Editor-In-Chiefs Design Conference will take place once again to host panel discussions on the theme of “Design and Traditional Craft” to inspire you, our beloved readers. There is also an amazing line-up of great things to see such as Shop Exhibition featuring shops across Tokyo, the ZERO EXHIBITION of exciting new designers and the Spain Emotion exhibition at the Spanish Embassy.

Thursday, October 30th, 2008, until Monday, November 3rd (Bank Holiday!)
Main Site: Jingu Gaien (nearest station: Aoyama-itchome) and other locations in Tokyo.
Admission: ¥2,500 (pre-registration discount)**

Last year’s Container Exhibition.

3. Japanese Designs! “DESIGN TOUCH”

The second DESIGN TOUCH at Midtown — following in the steps of the other two events.

First, get a copy of the event guide distributed at the site.

Since last year, DESIGN TOUCH has come on board the extravaganza, and although it was having a hard time competing with the other two main events at its debut, this year’s showcase will have the best of Japanese highly skilled and perfected design. In addition, it comes up with related events such as DESIGN TOUCH Auction, an auction of Japanese design, DESIGN TOUCH Conference, a free lecture by star designers, a DESIGNER’S FLEA MARKET, Design Garden T-Shirt Contest vol.2 as a T-shirt competition on the theme of family crests, and DESIGN TOUCH Performance by DJ TOWA TEI and others to get your cherished attention.

The Highlights!

More than 30 free lectures of “DESIGN TOUCH Conference” will take place everyday during DESIGN TOUCH. One to watch out for is the lecture on “MUJI” on October 31st, in which three leading designers: Naoto Fukasawa, James Irvine and Constantine Grcic ,will talk about a new project by this major Japanese brand. But there is more. Some interesting titles include: “Sound Branding” by Shuya Okino of Kyoto Jazz Massive, “This is not what I wanted! The design of Korejyanai-Robot” by ZariganiWorks and the “Sound Design – Creating Sounds that Appeal to the Sensibilities” that is about general trends in sound design.

Thursday, October 30th, 2008, until Monday, November 3rd (Bank Holiday!)
Venue: Various locations inside Tokyo Midtown (nearest station: Nogizaka.)

Last year’s DESIGN TOUCH.

OMG, the next few days are going to be totally crammed with must-see exhibitions and exciting events. And in case you’re already lost, don’t worry! Tomorrow we’ll continue with our Design Week coverage and will give you the complete listings. Watch out!

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