japanese art, design and culture

Posts from — July 2008

Shin Products


I am on a japanese-designer-roll today!
I just discovered these super playful rugs by industrial designer Shin Nishibori, another influential designer. Nishibori first received recognition and prestige as a designer for Matsushita Electric and his hit design, the p-case (image courtesy of TORI) radio/CD player. He was freelance for a while until 2006 when Apple recruited him.

Now, I hate propagate rumors, but I heard through the grape vine that Nishibori is the man behind the design for the iPod Shuffle. Interesting, no?

A complete line-up of his designs are available HERE and can be ordered via a form (Japanese).
(P.S.  Isn’t the website adorable?)

July 14, 2008   Comments Off

5th Collection by ±0

±0 (plus minus zero) recently announced the release of their 5th line of products. And staying consistent with previous naming systems, have entitled it “5th Collection.” ±0 is the design company of Naoto Fukasawa, a central figure in contemporary Japanese design. His most representative work (in my opinion) is his CD player designed for MUJI. Fukasawa’s influence in MUJI’s aesthetic has been significant, and there are many similarities between his line of products and those of MUJI’s.


July 14, 2008   Comments Off

Katsumi Komagata | children’s book author

A friend in Japan sent me (well, technically he sent them to my son) 2 books by author Katsumi Komagata. I was delighted to open them up and see overlapping paper cut-outs that are so simple, yet have such a nostalgic warmth to them! They feel so delicate I haven’t been able to hand them over to the little monster…

katsumi-komagata1.JPG katsumi-komagata2.jpg

katsumi-komagata3.JPG katsumi-komagata6.JPG

katsumi-komagata5.JPG katsumi-komagata4.JPG
(images courtesy of formandcolors.com)

July 11, 2008   Comments Off

cool website | inside the reservoir

I just discovered this super-cool website called Inside The Reservoir It’s really fun to explore and right now I still have it open, listening to the funky instrumental. I’m not sure what they do (one of the drawbacks of the website?) but I believe they are designers who have their own fragrance.

via Web Designing

July 11, 2008   Comments Off

Yoshihide Otomo | ENSEMBLES

Experimental musician Yoshihide Otomo just opened ENSEMBLES over at YCAM. The show consists of 2 segments; quartets is a performance by various musicians while orchestras is a sound & light-based installation. If there are any fans of Kahimi Karie out there take note as she is one of the contributing performers. Check out the website for details and schedule of performances!


P.S. YouTube has some clips if you are interested in hearing some of Otomo’s work. HERE is a good place to start!
(I love the 1 comment: “it sounds like someone is strangling a cat”)

July 10, 2008   Comments Off




Paul Smith designed an adorable line of products to commemorate 150 years U.K. – Japan diplomatic relations. I love the tote bag! You can see some of the other items HERE.


July 10, 2008   5 Comments

please do it… | Tokyo Metro manner posters by Bunpei Yorifuji

April 2008

April 2008

The Tokyo Metro manner posters is an ongoing humorous ad campaign to teach straphangers a few manners. Each month a new, cleverly designed  poster appears in subway stations throughout Tokyo. Bunpei Yorifuji has been designing them since April of 2008.

Update: (April 2010)
To commemorate the 2nd anniversary of the successful ad campaign, the “Please do it [somewhere else]” blurb was changed to “Please do it again” in order to encourage good behavior.

April 2008 – August 2010, after the jump…

[

July 9, 2008   Comments Off

Seiji Shibuya | Photographer

Up-and-coming Japanese photographer Seiji Shibuya just concluded a solo show over at the multi-purpose space SPIRAL. Here are some very visually stunning images from past collections. Although I highly recommend you enter his website and check out the full-screen versions.



images courtesy of Seiji Shibuya

July 9, 2008   Comments Off

Fresco Caffe by Rockstone

I thought I would start off the morning with some interior stimulus. I just came across these images of Fresco Caffe, located in Saitama Prefecture (just North of Tokyo). The splendid interior, which is completed in late 2007, is the work of Eiri Iwakuru, brainchild of the furniture and interior design company ROCKSTONE.


pro08_img02.jpg pro08_img03.jpg


(images courtesy of ROCKSTONE)

What a cozy place to have lunch! It feels like someone’s home, don’t you think?

July 9, 2008   Comments Off

Do you believe in the Mojito fairy?

Image courtesy of eatzycath

This is a belated 4th of July post.

So we had this party on our rooftop in Brooklyn and there were quite a few people there. Actually I’ve never seen so many people on our modest rooftop. I was there early, before the crowds arrived, playing with my son. I don’t remember what time it was, but it was still early when he arrived. Before I could think twice he had claimed a small space on the table and set up a shiny white marble mortar and pestle next to 2 large zip lock bags of fresh mint and limes. He then proceeded to make mojitos. This man stood at that table, indulging various guests in chit-chat, for close to 4 hours, making mojito after mojito. Now, I tend to believe that mojitos are much too often either too sweet or just lack any flavor at all. But his mojitos were perfection. Then the fireworks went off, my attention was diverged, and he was gone.

True story…I’m not creative enough to make that up.

July 8, 2008   Comments Off