japanese art, design and culture

Posts from — December 2007

Last Post of 2007

Hi everyone. I’ll be going away for the rest of the year but will be back in early 2008 with… a brand new look (and new posts)! That’s right. Snoozing and lounging is not the only thing I’ll be doing while away. I’m also planning an exciting face-lift for Spoon & Tamago.

Hope every one has a great holiday and a happy new year!!

December 21, 2007   Comments Off

Diane Arbus Image from 2005

I love my blog! It allows me to store all the images that I find inspiring. If not for my blog everything would be lost in my convoluted brain. This is one of those images that I’m so happy I can archive in a concise manner. It’s from a 2005 Diane Arbus exhibition at the Met; via the NYT. The colors, the layout, the orientation of the photo of the photos… so wonderful!

December 19, 2007   Comments Off


wow….I LOVE this image from the main page of British design/publishing studio FUEL‘s website.

December 18, 2007   Comments Off

Facelift for an Economics Department

When I think of an economics department, I think of statistics and computational methods and supply, demand, Bollinger bands (whatever they are) and that sort of thing. These elements are often paired with blackboards, percentage signs, and equations. However, I never would have conjured up images of Ross Lovegrove’s Supernatural Chair, or any sort of aesthetically pleasing symbol for that matter. But an article from Metropolis  changed that perception! Check out the work of Dutch design firm Tjep and their overhaul of the economics department of the vocational training school ROC, in the Netherlands. I personally find too much yellow to be a bit irritating, but it’s such a great contrast with the conventional connotations we have of economics!

Conference room (equipped with Supernatural Chairs) the makes reference to the industrial revolution.

Close-up of conference room

Reception desk that makes reference to logistics

Floor decals

December 18, 2007   Comments Off

New Extension for Tate Modern

Earlier this month, visuals were released for the widely anticipated extension of Britain’s Tate Modern. Check out the renderings by architects Herzog and de Meuron.

I find the exterior a bit frightening. Doesn’t it look like something out of a futuristic novel in which a dictator has taken control of all mankind and is constantly monitoring their every move? That’s what I picture a ruthless dictator’s castle to look like.


mod_blog_logo.gifAlthough the exterior has been decided on, the museum has opened up the stage to the public for ideas on the interior. They’ve established a blog, the great tate mod blog, in which you can send in pictures of your favorite spaces. To what extent they are going to consider ideas from us common folk is unknown. Nevertheless, sounds like fun! Check out the blog HERE.

December 17, 2007   Comments Off

Children’s Gift Guide Part IV: EVERYTHING ELSE!

Argh. It’s already the end of the week! I started this children’s gift guide in an attempt to cover several categories of countries but I don’t want it to spill over into next week…. SO, an apology to those countries that are getting grouped together, but I’m going to have to consolidate. So here are some toys from France, Scandinavia, and the U.S.

Permis de construire is a foam couch that will challenge your child’s imagination!
Available at Domeau & Peres


Dutch designer Richard Hutten has created some fantastic products for children!
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Manhattan based Yoya Shop has some “unique” children’s toys, to say the least.
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Kidonyc is also a great resource for parents looking for that special gift out of the ordinary!
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December 14, 2007   Comments Off

Children’s Gift Guide Part III: ITALY

The famous Sedici Animali jigsaw puzzle by designed by Enzo Mari in 1959. A timeless classic! Available at Baby Geared.

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I love this collection of playful furniture from FOPAPEDRETTI.

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The Netto Collection has some great Italian imports!

Arctic Polar Bear Rocker


Crib from the Case series

Diaper changing table from the Loft series


December 13, 2007   2 Comments

Logo and identity for Tokyo in Process by Chie Morimoto

images courtesy goen | click to enlarge

Designer Chie Morimoto created this entwining logo for select shop Tokyo in Process, located in the iconic Takashimaya department store. I also love what she did with the interior of the store. Yes: the streets of Tokyo are like a maze of spider webs.

December 12, 2007   Comments Off

Children’s Gift Guide Part II: JAPAN

In all aspects of Japanese culture (art, cuisine, etc.) there is a special emphasis on the material that is used. That is why many of the pictures I’m about to post consist of products made from durable, child-friendly materials, and is one of the reasons that I absolutly LOVE these products from Japan.

Wood Artisan Set available at Rakuten
For all those future handymen!

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“Maze” Bookshlef available from Rakuten
I would have loved to have such a fun bookshelf!

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Carota furniture available at boo-hoo-woo
What can I say…. so so so cute!

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Cob Stool available at Kagiroi
Set of wooden stools that can be arranged according to your needs. Toddlers can use them as a chair and desk or they can even be arranged as a display.

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Take Furniture series available at Rakuten
Adorable chairs and desks made from bamboo!

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December 12, 2007   1 Comment

Children’s Gift Guide

2007 has been a year of big changes for me. The biggest, of course, is that my life no longer revolves around me but instead around a 10-month old baby boy. I don’t think I’ve bought anything for myself this year. Therefore, any attempt at a gift guide would result in a lame collection of unorganized odds and ends. HOWEVER, when it comes to children’s toys that is a different story! For the entire year all I’ve done is look through baby magazines and websites. I developed a particular interest for foreign toys. (No, I’m not referring to “Made In China.”)
So for the rest of the week I’d like to show you a bunch of adorable toys that I’ve seen from all over the world.

Lets start with GERMANY

Villa Sibi Dollhouse from www.sirch.de

For all those budding future architects. This adorable contemporary style dollhouse comes with everything from beds and tables to a kitchen faucet!
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Rutschi Slide from www.kaetherundweise.de

I’m sure some of you out there are proud owners of the adorable Stokke Tripp Trapp High Chair. Well this ingenious slide is a very simple design that allows your high chair to quickly transform into a slide. Perfect for those rainy days when a trip to the park is not your idea of a fun time!

Re-babe & Re-tire rocking chair and crib from www.re-produkte.com

This clever combination of a rocker and bassinet allows the flexibility of holding your precious in your arms and rocking him/her to sleep OR laying the baby down and rocking both of you to sleep!

(click for room view)

Trehjulet Tricycle from www.krea.dk

These adorable wooden and metallic tricycles are sure to cattapult your baby into rock star status!
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December 11, 2007   3 Comments