japanese art, design and culture

Posts from — December 2008

Hiroyuki Kado

Considering that ikebana, the art of flower arrangement, has been so dominant in the traditional arts in Japan I’m surprised that there aren’t more young artists applying contemporary architectural & design elements to the 600-year old practice. There is Makoto Azuma (who I’ve blogged about in the past) and Hiroyuki Kado makes 2. There are probably others that I just haven’t picked up on.

“Lucent Woods” installation at Ennagon Gallery (Oct. 2007). Image courtesy of elle decor.

It’s been about a year since Hiroyuki Kado made a splash at the Ennagon Gallery in SOHO. And just last month it was announced that he was unveiling a space design service. Here are some pics to help you imagine what your next party space could look like!

images courtesy of Hiroyuki Kado

December 3, 2008   5 Comments

Public Diner | Ichiro Katami

I decided to check back on our friends over at KATA (the designers who started it all) to see what they were up to recently. It turns out that Public Diner, one of their most recent designs, opened just last month. And I’m happy to see it’s NOT a minimal concrete bldg.

At first I was really excited at the prospect of having such a cool space in Tokyo. Then I realized it was up in Saitama Prefecture.(GMAP) But nonetheless, the structure itself is quite charming.

In all his previous work Ichiro Katami has attempted to import western idealist styles (whether it be a Greenwich Village-style diner out of an Edward Hopper painting or a European church) and translate them into a unique yet amiable space for the hardworking Japanese to enjoy themselves. And his wooden cabin-like space definitely seems like a successful candidate.

images courtesy of Ichiro Katami

December 2, 2008   1 Comment


I thought this was kind of cool and gave it a shot. The GenderAnalyzer thinks there’s a 63% chance that I’m a dude. I thought the name was a dead giveaway but I guess there’s room for debate.

via c-monster

December 1, 2008   Comments Off

Muji Awards 03 | winners announced!

I can’t believe its December already! Where did 2008 go?

So, the news over the weekend (unless you live in chelsea, in which case you were excited for a different reason)was that MUJI announced the winners of their 3rd international competition, the “MUJI Awards.” Based on the “Found” theme designers were challenged to build on preexisting ideas from nature or from past generations and cultures. The winning entry was “Straw Straw” by Yuki Iida, an “almost too obvious design” (as judge Naoto Fukasawa commented) that takes the original shape of wheat straw and modifies it into straws for mass production.

One other entry that caught my eye was “Grandpa’s Nail Hook” by Masashi Watanabe.


December 1, 2008   Comments Off