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Designing Early Education: The Architectural Work of Youji no Shiro

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some recent examples of early education facilities designed by Youji no Shiro | click to enlarge

If you wanted great sushi you wouldn’t go to a diner, right? You would go to a sushi shop. And if you wanted Italian food you wouldn’t ask your sushi chef to boil pasta. The same thinking, says Taku Hibino, should hold true for architecture. Hibino is one chief architects at Hibinosekkei+Youji no Shiro, an architecture firm and brand in Japan specializing in the design and construction of learning facilities for early education.

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Magnetic Japanese Wooden Pottery Hooks

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How adorable are these pottery hooks?If you’re like me and at one point in your life fell in love with a potter’s wheel, or Japanese pottery, these hooks will make your day!

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A Suspended Bonsai Installed Inside an Abandoned Power Plant

shiki bonsai power station belgium by makoto azuma

In the city of Charleroi just north of Brussels in Belgium sits an abandoned power station. Originally built in 1921, the coal-burning Power Plant IM remained operational for almost 90 years until it came under scrutiny for its massive carbon footprint and was decommissioned in 2007.

But its magnificent cooling tower still looms, offering urban explorers and photographers stunning, dystopian views. Now, Azuma Makoto, the Japanese botanical artist, has created a surreal installation within the tower’s moss-covered innards.

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Moon House: a home designed around circular margins of undefined space

moon house by fumiaso architecture

photos by kenta hasegawa courtesy Fumiaso Architecture & Associates

Fumi Aso was recently named best young architect by the Architectural Institute of Japan’s Kansai chapter, for her Moon House. And, while Aso scored highly in areas like aesthetics, style and functionality, it was her “margins,” expounded the judges, which eventually led them to nominate her.

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Pantograph Imagines Gadgets From A Parallel World

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A binary typewriter with keys for just zero and one

A tube amp wireless router? A binary code typewriter with only a zero and one? A record player that can play 4 records – vocals, guitar, base and drum – at the same time? These are all gadgets that almost seem like they could exist, but of course they don’t. And you won’t see them being funded on kickstarter anytime soon either. They’re imaginary gadgets thought up by the creative minds of Pantogram, a Japanese model making company.

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Yaskawa Bushido Project: an industrial robot replicates a master swordsman

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First the robots came for our jobs. Then they came for our chess tournaments. Now, they’re coming for our martial arts too. Meet MOTOMAN-MH24, a robot who, depending on where you stand on the spectrum of robotics, is either a piece of metallic awesomeness, or an absolute nightmare.

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Photorealistic Pencil Portraits of Woman by Kei Meguro

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Kei Meguro is a Tokyo-born illustrator and graphic designer. After moving to NY for art school she settled down in Brooklyn where she’s not only cultivated her photorealistic aesthetic but also established herself as a freelance illustrator with clients around the world. Now, for the first time, the 27-year old’s beautiful pencil-drawn portraits are being exported back into Japan for an exhibition titled “Juxtaposition.”

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Yokokuhan: a short film shot in the backstreets of Tokyo using YouTube’s new 360-degree perspective

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Ever wanted to experience the perspective of a race car driver? Or the detective in a murder mystery? Well YouTube is making it possible. It was just 3 months ago when the video streaming service announced that they had begun supporting 360-degree perspectives. And film makers are beginning to take advantage of the technology. One of the more interesting projects that truly captures the allure of allowing the viewer to look in any direction – not just where the camera is pointing – is this short film that was shot in a single take throughout the backstreets of Tokyo.

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Light Origami: Masakazu Shirane’s Immersive 3D Kaleidoscope Made From 320 Origami Shapes

Light Origami by Masakazu Shirane

Image by Destination New South Wales

Now through June 8, 2015, Japanese spatial designer Masakazu Shirane has installed Light Origami, a giant 3D kaleidoscope constructed using over 320 different origami shapes. Visitors to Vivid Sydney, an 18-day festival of light, music and ideas, can enter the structure, which acts like a kaleidoscope when different spectrums of light are projected into the space.

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Granbell: A New Design Hotel Opens In Shibuya

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the main lobby of the newly renovated Grandbell Hotel Shibuya | all photos by Nacasa & Partners

Want to stay in room that only comes to life when the lights are turned down? What about a room whose wall decorations are all functional canvases? Well Hotel Granbell Shibuya might be the place for you. The design hotel underwent a major renovation and reopened for business last month.

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