Category — Industrial Design
Wooden bags always sound like a neat idea, but when put to use they always seem kind of heavy and bulky. But this new kiri-bag from designer Hikaru Yamaguchi of DonguriCo may very well change my mind. It’s elegant form is crafted from lightweight paulownia wood and reinforced by a hardwood frame. All the wood comes from Yamaguchi prefecture, a location steeped in the tradition of Hagi pottery. Stripped of any bells and whistles, the minimal carry case has 2 simple leather straps that secure it together.
Last year the designer also showcased a carrying carrying bag, this one made from the same aluminum sheet metal used on Japan’s bullet trains.
The company also made a smaller-sized moku-moku bag, perfect for a notebook and an iPad. The bags a currently on display at Tokyo Designers Week 2013. There’s no indication of what these bags will cost as they have yet to hit the shelves of the company’s online shop.
This post is part of a series covering the 2013 Tokyo Designers Week.
source: TDW 2013
October 28, 2013 Comments Off
While Banksy is busy decorating the city of New York with his signature stencils, Japanese designer Hideyuki Nakayama (previously) is showing off his own graffiti. In a collaboration with German jeweler Niessing, Nakayama has created a series of doodles that will be engraved into the rings. The collection will be on display starting 10/24 at Niessing Tokyo as part of Tokyo Design Week currently going on.
This post is part of a series covering the 2013 Tokyo Designers Week.
source: press release
October 22, 2013 2 Comments
Oki Sato and his luminous design studio Nendo (previously) are being featured in PEN, the bi-monthly design-conscious lifestyle magazine. The Nov. 1 issue, hitting shelves as we speak, features the 35-year old designer on the cover, as well as several in-depth columns on his work, major past projects, his firm history and much more. One astounding revelation: Nendo currently has 250 projects on their plate that are simultaneously moving forward. Wow.
Another fun characteristic of the feature is several collaborative products designed exclusively for the issue:
Cup Noodle Commercial
Nendo has designed everything from furniture and boutiques to silverware and tech gadgets. But the one thing they have never designed is a commercial. Titled “Reverse/Rebirth,” the commercial uses minimal dots and shapes to trace back the origins of cup noodle. There’s even a special website over on Nissin where everything is reversed.
3D illusion stacking blocks
Lucky readers picking up a copy will find this fun set of 2D cards that, when stacked, create the illusion of a 3D structure.
Edible chocolate paint
When given the freedom to design anything he wanted, the sweet-toothed Sato decided to create a realistic paint set made from chocolate. Inside the chocolate tubes are different flavored sauces. If you’re in Japan you’ll be able to order the limited edition chocolate paint (4,200 yen) on the PEN website starting Oct 22.
Heads or Tails dog accessory collection
The three-piece collection consists of a dog bed, dishes and toys. “The artificial leather bed becomes a little hut when dogs burrow inside it, and a cushion when they lie on top,” says Sato. “The ceramic dishes are reversible, with a shallow dish for food on one side and a deeper dish for water on the other.”
October 17, 2013 1 Comment
The Hobonichi Planner is somewhat of a cult must-have in Japan. The 400-page daily planner has its own lengthy Wikipedia page, as well as massive collection of crowd-sourced images showing off creative uses of the planner. It features a precise, grid-based design and carefully chosen materials in hopes that users will “uncover” their own story of the year.
They only major flaw was that it was only in Japanese…until now. More than 10 editions later the 2014 Hobonichi Planner is now available in English, thanks to Lindsey Nelson, who works at Hobonichi and has been producing the translated version over the last year.
Hobonichi – an abbreviation of a phrase meaning “almost every day” – was originally started by Shigesato Itoi, a copywriter, essayist and the creator of Nintendo game EarthBound. Check out the adorable promotional video below created by Yugo Nakamura. The catchy tune takes the words kaku (write), kiru (cut) and haru (paste) and turns them into lyrics:
October 17, 2013 Comments Off
Leave it to the Japanese to apply their age-old folding techniques to other household items, like helmets. Bloom is a new foldable helmet developed for emergency use by Toyo Safety. Sure foldable helmets are starting to become a thing now, but I have yet to see one as elegant as this.
Weighing in at just under 1 pound, Bloom can easily be stored away in cabinets or other storage facilities at home, school or work. When you need it, all you do is pull a string and it expands. It comes in 4 stylish colors so you can be fashionable even in the worst of times. Now if only they would make one for bicycles!
this post is part of our review of the 2013 Good Design Awards. Click here to view the full series.
October 15, 2013 Comments Off
We live in complicated times. Not only do we have more gizmos and gadgets than ever, we’re also inundated with a vast range of products and tools to help us get organized. The whole thing can be dizzying. Well why not let your kids get a handle on things early with the koloro-wagon.
Inspired by the concept of “storable furniture,” the mobile wagon lets kids store all their toys in one place. The mobility gives them the freedom to roll it around while the 3 stacking shelves lets them unhook certain parts and relocate to other parts of the room. It teaches organization but also mechanics and engineering. It can even be shared amongst the family with shelving for each member!
October 8, 2013 Comments Off
After what feels like ages of refining and polishing the look of cutlery, Oki Sato, who heads up the popular Japanese design firm Nendo, is breaking the mold. And he’s turning back the clock of time hundreds of thousands of years in doing so. The Tokyo and Milan based designer recently unveiled “sekki,” a three-piece set of desert cutlery whose rudimentary, irregular forms harken back to the prehistoric days of stone-carved tools.
Sekki (石器), which also means stone tool in Japanese, is a collaboration with Kobayashi Kogyo – a Niigata-based metalwork firm. Parts of each piece are sandblasted while others are polished, heightening the asymmetrical look of stone.
October 8, 2013 Comments Off
In 2012 House Industries collaborated with Hasami on a collection steeped in kiln-fired Kelvins and centuries of tradition. What now marks their 2nd collaboration with the family-owned Japanese ceramic maker, House has unveiled their Monohara collection. The term – a form of Japanese ceramic industry jargon – literally means “the trash pit next to the kiln” and refers to a pit of defects or otherwise imperfect ceramics that have been discarded.
“We found much of our inspiration quite literally in Hasami’s backyard—the trench filled with 400 years worth of cast offs and blemished items,” says Andy Cruz of House Industries. “Artifacts from Hasami’s ceramic trash pit are the best link to the past and one of the keys to Hasami’s future.”
The collection, which includes nesting bowls, teacups and teapots, will be on display at Midori.so in Tokyo, a collaborative workspace that we profiled just over 1 year ago. The exhibition will run from October 15 – 20. There are mode details over on the House Industries blog.
“The Monahara wordmark references the brushwork of Edo Era Hasami village artisans, whose latin letterforms evoked Hiragana sensibilities on Japanese products that were exported to Europe in the 19th Century.”
October 4, 2013 Comments Off
Tangible Searching | A voice-activated search engine and a 3D printer brings the Internet to blind kids
The Internet is to be looked at. And also to be heard. But what if we could touch it? What if the internet, and all our search results, were tangible? How wonderful would that be and what would it mean for the blind or visually-impaired? With that, Yahoo Japan just launched a brilliant campaign to bring such wonderful dreams to life.
In early September a large, white machine resembling a cloud showed up at a school in Tokyo for blind and visually impaired students. A voice-activated search engine allowed the kids to ask the machine to search for something they wanted to touch. The search results were then sent to a database and a match was sent back. Then a 3D printer kicks in. Children waited in astonishment as they heard the strange machine beep and churn as it brought their search results to tangible form. Watch the touching video below:
Yahoo Japan is lending the 3D search engine to the school for free until mid-October. Although all in Japanese, the website has a section where students submit requests for 3D data not yet available on their database. If you have the software and the means to design the data you can submit it and it will be loaded into their database.
“It was like Doraemon and his pocket of secret devices – anything I asked for came right out,” said one of the older kids.
“The ones that felt the strangest to touch was the ghost and the squid,” said one of the younger kids.*
* all quotes translated by author
September 18, 2013 1 Comment
Australia based designers Saori Kajiwara and Matt Innes have been collaborating together on a series of furniture inspired by Japanese and English typography. From the far east the collection aptly features the character 香 (kaori; scent) as an incense holder, while the characters 東西 (tozai; east and west) work as standalone tables. “The concept for this project is to explore the idea of Japanese typographic forms as furniture,” they say.
Meanwhile, their western counterparts include Table for Two (Ampersand Table)and is “an homage to the beautiful 1970s type designs of Herb Lubalin.”
Saori Kajiwara is from Shizuoka Japan. She studied art and design in Tokyo before traveling to Melbourne, Australia, where she
completed a degree in communication design at Swinburne University of Technology. Matt Innes is an Australian native obsessed by simple bicycles and Japanese motorbikes & scooters. The two are currently establishing a design office together.
Source: The Fox Is Black
September 10, 2013 Comments Off