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The Molecular Structure of Glass Magnified and Recreated with 5000 Pieces of Glass

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Perhaps you learned in physics class that glass is a material composed primarily of silicon and oxygen or, if you want to get nerdy, SiO2. But what does that really mean? And, more importantly, what would it look like? Using 5000 pieces of thin glass suspended in mid-air, a Japanese designer has recreated the non-crystalline (amorphous) molecular structure of glass in a model one billion times its actual size.

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Origami-Inspired Mural of a Haniwa Doll by Street Artist DAAS

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It’s rare to find commissioned street art in Japan, perhaps because of strict law enforcement towards anything construed as graffiti, but also because of a general avoidance of public displays of expression. But there are exceptions, and it’s certainly nice to see an exception so colorful. In Takatsuki City, Osaka a mural recently popped up depicting a vibrant Haniwa doll, a horse and a traditional home.

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This Piece of Wall Art Doubles as a Light-Emitting Lantern

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Photos by Yasuko Furukawa

Is it a lantern? Is it a photo of a lantern? Is it wall art? Well, it’s all of the above. And it’s the latest design from the mind-bending design duo YOY, who enjoy incorporating clever illusions into their work. This year at Milan Design Week Naoki Ono and Yuki Yamamoto, the pair behind YOY, are debuting “Depth,” a playful light that plays with our sense of depth.

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Cones of Light Create Abstract Trees in Sou Fujimoto’s Interactive Forest

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After teaming up with Nendo 2 years ago, COS, the high-end cousin of fast fashion brand H&M, is has collaborated with Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto to stage an immersive installation made up primarily of light. Taking cues from the brand’s minimal, monotone collection, Fujimoto created a multisensory experience of light, sound and fog that interacts with visitor’s movements.

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A Piaggio Ape Covered in Green and Converted Into a Flower Shop

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all photos courtesy makoto azuma

The Ape is an adorable 3-wheeled vehicle produced by Italian carmaker Piaggio. It was originally designed by the inventor of the Vespa and was intended to aid the struggling class of post-war Italy. Well now instead of transporting goods it’s selling flowers at the Ginza flagship store of Italian luxury brand Fendi.

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Music Monday: Degurutieni

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Degurutieni is a musician, make no mistake. But to better understand his dark, gothic aesthetic you may want to learn about where he’s from: the Nishinari district in Osaka, which holds the inglorious title of Japan’s biggest slum. Degurutieni describes his childhood as “Neverland,” a world where he was free to explore and observe his city with little to no parental guidance. He’d often stay out all night among the riots and red lights, an experience that would go on to inspire his raucous sound and haunting lyrics.

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Four Shortlisted Designs Revealed for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Logo

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Update: On 4/25/16 the olympics committee decided to go with idea A, the harmonized checkered emblem.

After sifting through over 14,000 designs submitted in a public call for entries for Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics logo, the committee has revealed 4 outstanding designs that have been shortlisted. Kenjiro Sano’s original logo was withdrawn last year after a controversial plagiarism scandal so the committee has been very cautious, noting  that each design has been vetted for originality and selected in consultation with design and trademark professionals. The creators of each design have been masked and the committee is asking the public to help them decide, because no one wants to take responsibility for making a decision.

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Radios Made From Real Turban Seashells

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There’s a popular folk myth that if you hold a seashell to your ear you can hear the sound of the ocean. While what you actually hear is resonance within the cavity of the shell, there’s now a seashell that plays real music. It’s been 90 years since radio came to Japan. So to commemorate that milestone the staff at Japanese radio station BayFM decided to create seashell radios.

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Music Monday: KAO:S

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“Out of chaos comes order,” wrote the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. And while many scientific examples seem to point to the truth of this profound statement, in this case it’s KAO:S that arose from chaos. By chaos I’m referring to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that wreaked havoc in Northern Japan. And by KAO:S I’m referring to the Japanese band that was founded just a month after the earthquake.

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The Bicycle Culture Center in Tokyo is a Museum for Bicycle Lovers

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all photos by kentahasegawa

Established in 1981, the Bicycle Culture Center is a unique space in Tokyo where you’ll find anything and everything pertaining to bicycles. They have over 9000 publications pertaining to bicycles. But that’s just for starters – they also have bicycles themselves, rare parts, vintage posters and magazines from around the world.

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