Dear Readers –
It’s that time of year again where we tally up our most popular posts of the year. But more importantly, it’s a time of acknowledgement; a time to say thank you to each and every one of you who stopped by Spoon & Tamago.
Some of you have been with us from the start, which was 8 years ago! And some of you discovered us more recently. But either way, thank you for spending time with us. Our articles aren’t always the most flashy but we spend a lot of time crafting our thoughts and typing them out. And we hope to keep doing that next year as we inch closer to turning 10.
2015 was an important year for us. While our online shop continues to grow, we also made our first step out of the internet and into real life in the form of a pop-up gallery! Thank you to everyone who stopped by to say hi. We loved meeting you and talking with you about art and what excites us. Stay tuned for more next year! Wishing everyone a safe and happy holidays.
1. A Puddle-Making School
Our most popular post this year was a new pre-school in Japan designed by Hibino Sekkei. What made the school special was that the courtyard was formulated to collect rain water instead of draining it out, creating the ultimate form of play each time it rains. Not only were readers resound in their support of jumping in puddles but the school reminded all of us how important it is for kids to play outside, even if it means getting a little wet and dirty.
2. The $25,000 MUJI Hut
At a design conference in Tokyo late in the year, MUJI announced that it would begin selling prefabricated huts for less than the average price of a new car. Starting at just $25K, we will soon be able to purchase small, designer homes that would allow us to live small but think big. The humble abodes won’t begin being selling until 2017 though…ack! One more year!
3. Nameless Paints
Another early-education post in the top 5 proves that it’s a topic on everyone’s mind. In this case, two Japanese designers created a paint set for kids that would make them think about color differently. Instead of names, each tube in the 10-color paint set is identified by one or more circles of color: a radical new way of getting kids to intuitively understand color. We stocked them in our shop and they sold out in a matter of days. Unfortunately the company has no plans of producing more.
4. Onomatopoeic Chocolates
Early in the year, design studio Nendo created “Chocolatexture,” a series of 9 chocolates, all the same size, that represent Japanese onomatopoeic words that describes texture. Words like tsubu tsubu, sube sube and toge toge were used to create chocolate with pointed tips, hollow interiors or smooth surface textures. We’re selective in covering projects from Nendo simply because of the sheer volume: in an interview this year lead designer Oki Sato revealed that at any one time he has roughly 400 projects moving forward simultaneously.
5. Taking Balloons to New Heights
Next on our top 10 is Masayoshi Matsumoto, and artist who we definitely want at our next birthday party. Elevating the realm of balloon art and taking it to new heights, Matsumoto uses balloons of all sizes to create intricate, detailed animals and plants that appear to be made from something – anything – other than inflatable rubber.
6. The Wetsuit, Suit
Our 6th most popular article also gets the award for most literal interpretation of an article of clothing. “True Wetsuits” are waterproof suits that can be worn in the boardroom or at the beach. Some readers thought it might be a prank. But it was confirmed as authentic: Quicksilver Japan is selling them for about $2500 a piece.
7. The Babe Drawer
Self-proclaimed “Babe Drawer” Kei Meguro impressed readers with her photo-realistic renderings of, well, babes. Meguro’s portraits are striking and alluring alone. But what makes them special is the post-production work of adding bits of color, which she masterfully accomplishes in photoshop.
8. There’s Something About Saya
Meet Saya. She’s not your typical Japanese schoolgirl. Her parents have big dreams for their beautiful daughter. They want her to play a character in a movie they are self-producing. Where will she find the time with all her schoolwork? Not to worry. Saya is only as real as the pixels on your screen. Her soft cheeks, lush, black hair and hazel-brown eyes are all computer-generated imagery.
9. A Tree House Dreams Are Made Of
Landing at number 9 is Japan’s largest treehouse, created by a treehouse specialist and an architect. It was designed around a single 300-year old camphor tree. What’s amazing is that the treehouse in its entirety, never touches the tree. It’s completely self-standing so as to not harm the tree. And good news! The treehouse is for kids and adults alike.
10. A Single-Paper Lamp
Coming in at 10th was a design that brilliantly captures Japan’s minimalist aesthetic. Created by design duo YOY, the lamp comes flat-packed, like paper normally does, but the cuts and incisions allow it to take form as you use tacks or tape to adhere it to the wall.
And there you have it! Our top 10. We invite you to explore more Japanese design. Heading to Tokyo? Check out our Tokyo Guide. Or just looking to get your Japanese design fix? Be sure to check out our shop. Thanks again for reading!
Spoon & Tamago
December 27, 2015 at 4:51 pm
I love this post especially the Onomatopoeic Chocolates, Nameless Paint and A Puddle Making School. Your posts are so informative and lets readers in to the finer details of Japanese culture and what they are up to. Keep it up!