Japanese animator Eugene works for the award-winning studio Robot Communications. But as a side project, the animator has been creating a beautiful side project that recently came together in a pulsating short video of underwater sealife.
Farewell My Tokyo are a series of framed artistic images created by designer Megumi Takami, who wanted to memorialize the essence of Tokyo for anyone who wants to keep a reminder of its colorful street signs, cozy neighborhoods, town landscapes, modern architectures and cultural landmarks.
The Mitosaya Botanical Distillery is located in Chiba, right in the middle of the Boso Peninsula. A little over a 1 hour drive from Tokyo, the distillery is not only surrounded by nature, it houses over 500 different varieties of herbs on it’s sprawling 16,000sqm organic farm. It’s these and other local ingredients that go into the many varieties of brandy and spirits that the distillery produces.
Bousai is the Japanese word for disaster preparedness. And given the fact that the country is so prone to natural disaster, bousai has been a point of increasing emphasis within the design community as many have turned to design as a means of facilitating better preparedness. Recently, a Japanese company that has been making firefighting equipment for almost 130 years, designed a minimal set of fire extinguishers to encourage people to keep one in their home.
The majority of suburban Japan is a bland landscape of regular, cheaply constructed homes, along with shops and signage that dot the streets in colors that clash with the surrounding environment. Or, perhaps we’re just looking at it the wrong way, says artist Daisuke Samejima, who literally forces us to look at these scenes through a different frame. Working with acrylics, the painter uses irregular canvases as a trimming device to paint realistic yet regular scenes of Japanese suburbanism.
In 2014, a subculture emerged in Japan called jimi halloween (地味ハロウィン), or “mundane Halloween.” It was started by a group of adults at Daily Portal Z who “kind of wanted to participate in the festivities of Halloween, but were too embarrassed to go all out in witch or zombie costumes.” So instead of the flashy and flamboyant costumes they had been seeing gain popularity in Japan, they decided to dress up in mundane, everyday costumes. The type of costumes that you have to explain to people and then they say, ooooh I get it.
Here are some notable mundane Halloween costumes from this year’s event.
The economic benefits of New York’s High Line have been made clear. The elevated park that was converted from a disused railway has generated so much tourism and increases in land value that some $2 billion in new economic activity is attributed to the High Line. Now, other cities are following those blue prints to create new value from old infrastructure and Tokyo could be next.
DesignArt Tokyo is in full swing this week. The annual celebration, now in it’s 3rd iteration, converts Tokyo into a massive museum with galleries, retail stores and event venues all joining in. And this year it’s bigger and more diverse than ever with over 300 designers participating at over 100 locations. That’s a lot to digest and a full list of everything going on, along with a convenient map, can be found on the official website. But here are just a few of our favorites. The events continue through October 27, 2019.
Prior to Momofuku Ando releasing his revolutionary Cup Noodle into the world in 1971, he went on a fact-finding mission to America. There, he saw Americans taking his previous invention, the chicken noodle, breaking it in half, putting it in a cup instead of a bowl and eating it with a fork instead of chopsticks. This is what’s said to have inspired him to create Nissin’s Cup Noodle: a design that can be enjoyed by people all over the world. Almost exactly 48 years later, Nissin is releasing a fork that’s been specifically designed for that exact purpose.
As dusk settles in, the lights flicker on at Takigawa, a new sushi shop that opened over the summer in Fukuoka. A single lamp with the shop’s Japanese name – 多㐂川 – written in calligraphy glows and a noren with a curious illustration of a fish hangs above the entrance, welcoming visitors.