Category — Industrial Design
On a hot Tuesday afternoon the other day I had the pleasure of accompanying Brooklyn-based designer Takeshi Miyakawa to Salon 94 on the Upper East Side where his latest piece of furniture had been installed. “It’s so shiny,” remarked one of the gallery attendants, as she led us through the hallway and into the main showroom of Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn’s home and gallery. Indeed, Miyakawa’s latest piece possess an aura unlike any of his previous work. However, it’s presence is as easily lost, as it is sensed.
“visible/invisible furniture” is made from a special type of acrylic with a mirrored finish. They are reminiscent of Robert Morris’ minimalist sculptures from the 1960s, which would produce complex interactions between object and viewer. However, Miyakawa’s pieces, once assembled, are bent and distorted with heat, creating beautiful wrinkles and crackles.
As we circled the piece taking pictures the mirroring would cause the furniture to blend into the floor, only to reappear again. Photographing it was hard – like a model who just won’t sit still. We got some good pictures but seeing it in person is like a whole other dimension.
June 18, 2013 No Comments
Technically a grass, bamboo is found on every continent where it thrives without fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. And touted for its durability, inexpensiveness and sustainability – it can be harvested in 5 years, as opposed to hardwoods which takes at least 50 years – it has long garnered the attention of the design industry as an eco-friendly building material.
Collaborating with TAKE Create Hagi, a company that has developed a unique process of sculpting bamboo, Tokyo-based designer Naoki Hirakoso has created a series of furniture titled Rebirth. Simple geometry and clean lines give Hirakoso’s pieces a refined look, helping bamboo escape from the tiki lounge décor that it’s long been associated with.
TakeREBIRTH Vase Series
TakeREBIRTH Lounge Chair
June 12, 2013 No Comments
London based Japanese designer Kazuhiro Yamanaka has come up with an ingenious flat piece of paper that, when rolled up, miraculously transforms into a powerful flashlight. The trick is a miniature LED light embedded within a slit. When the paper is rolled up into a cylinder the slit pops out, automatically triggering the LED light source. And when unrolled the light naturally shuts off. Now you can always keep a flashlight right on your desk, as long as it doesn’t get lost amongst the other stack of papers on your desk.
Yamanaka created another minimal light using a piece of paper, but this one is a lamp. It consists of only 3 elements: a wooden laundry clip, a light bulb, and a piece of paper, which can be interchanged with different weighted or colored paper. It can be effortlessly stored away. And when you need it, all you have to do is roll up a piece of paper and attach the clip.
June 6, 2013 No Comments
Summer is approaching. For some us it’s already here. But strong ultraviolet rays and less greenery to shade you poses a problem, especially if you have sensitive skin. Creating a poetic and artful answer to that problem is Fumito Kogure and Shinya Kaneko, a designer duo that respectively come from backgrounds in fashion and architecture. Komorebi is a characteristically Japanese saying that approximately translates to “sunshine filtering through foliage.” Applying that concept to your typical ugly plastic umbrella, the duo have managed to create komorebigasa (3990 yen), a lovely product that can be used in rain or shine.
June 6, 2013 4 Comments
Run by Kazu and Shing, a husband and wife designer-duo based on Fukuoka, “MONOCIRCUS houses a collection of things.” These “things” are often playful, often quirky and always original.
Their latest endeavor is a series of jewelry and accessories utilizing the increasingly popular technology of 3D printing. The bow tie is indeed quite revolutionary. I agree with the designers who claim that this “is going to change the way you put on your Tie!”
The development is not something to go ringing the trend alarm about. 3D printed fashion goes back to around 2010 when designer Iris van Herpen collaborated with New York company MGX by Materialise and artist Daniel Widrig to create 3D printed clothes. “Even though 3D-printed haute couture garments have been gracing the catwalks, the real breakthroughs in printed clothing will come from more practical and subversive quarters,” according to Print Shift magazine. Perhaps this is a glimpse of the practical and subversive they were referring to?
White Metanet necklace
June 5, 2013 2 Comments
While bonsai is the art of arranging miniature trees and shrubs in small planters, bonkei (literally “tray landscape”) refers to the equally age-old Japanese tradition of arranging small greenery like rocks and moss to create a landscape. Chiaki Murata and his lifestyle product brand Metaphys has put a modern twist on the art, creating a series of planters to help spruce up your desk. The homes (2,625 yen) can be used alone, or you can combine multiple buildings to create a small town of green rooftops.
June 4, 2013 No Comments
Our week-long series of Mt. Fuji-related posts is coming to an end. I know you’re sad and are thinking, “no! I still haven’t had enough Mt. Fuji.” Fear not, here are some Mt. Fuji-related products you can purchase to further your appreciation and bring Mt. Fuji into your own home.
Origami that, when folded just the right way, reveals Mt. Fuji.
Fuji sticky notes
They work as cute page markers
A seemingly normal envelope that reveals Mt. Fuji when opened.
Fuji Tissue case
Fujiyama Beer Glass
An image of Mt. Fuji is revealed when you pour a brewski. Try experimenting with different colored beers! Or soda, I guess…
Rice crackers (senbei) that come in four seasons/flavors – spring, summer, fall and winter
A gorgeous sasami-yaki ceramic bowl inspired by Mt. Fuji
This is part of a series of posts on Mt. Fuji. The entire series can be found HERE.
May 24, 2013 No Comments
Was there an earthquake? Or did time suddenly stop moving? Masters of the optical illusion, Tokyo-based YOY studio have designed SWING – a pendant lamp that, well, appears to swing. The trick is really quite simple. An LED light source is used to illuminate the bulb and an acrylic tube that represents the trace of light. It comes in 3 different sizes depending on how much you want your room to appear to sway.
Check out some of YOY’s other designs that will make you say, huh?
May 17, 2013 Comments Off
We’ve all done it before – you come home to find that your flowers have wilted because you’ve forgotten to add water to the vase. Well a new harmonious design is giving voice to the “unspeakable flower.”
Designed by Risako Matsumoto, a member of the collaborative design unit Design Soil, Water Balance is almost like a kinetic sculpture. An adjustable weight creates perfect equilibrium between the flower vase filled with water and the weight. When water begins to evaporate, the structure slants to become the “silent voice of the flower.”
Here are some other unique flower vases that the group has done in the past.
May 17, 2013 Comments Off
Love the look of your keyboard? Keep it clean and dust-free with Type Wipe, an elegantly designed cover that blends in with your laptop. Designed by Nosigner, it comes in 5 colors and retails for about $18.
May 16, 2013 Comments Off