Seduced by the Undercover labyrinth

Nov 10, 2015

Seduced by the Undercover labyrinth

It’s undeniable that when designer Jun Takahashi founded Undercover — which celebrates its 25th anniversary with its first retrospective at Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery — he was strongly influenced by the pioneers of deconstruction fashion Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto. His first few ...

Updating tradition at Tokyo Design Week

| Oct 31, 2015

Updating tradition at Tokyo Design Week

Promoting Japan’s artisanal history and new design Established in 2005, Tokyo Design Week has done an admirable job of showcasing Japanese creators both major and minor. Unfortunately, this year has been a bit of a let-down from past years’ presentations. Much smaller in scale ...

Furniture that goes against the grain

| Oct 3, 2015

Furniture that goes against the grain

Seeing both the wood and the trees Moctave’s range of wooden furniture should get any hipster, nature-lover or slow-lifestyle design enthusiast excited. In short, it’s wood porn of the highest quality. Established last November, Moctave locally sources 30 kinds of wood from Gifu Prefecture ...

Smarten up the work day

| Sep 5, 2015

Smarten up the work day

As you rethink your wardrobe for the autumnal chill, why not smarten up your work style too? From pass cases to ties, here’s a few simple designs with twists. Give in to the fold In the past few years, flatpack designs employing the art ...

Art nouveau's jewels in the crown

Aug 4, 2015

Art nouveau's jewels in the crown

As Parisians of the late 19th century reveled in the heady optimism of economic prosperity and enjoyed the innovations spurred by the ongoing Industrial Revolution, Sarah Bernhardt, the most famous actress and muse of the time, became enamored by two trendsetters: Rene Lalique, then ...

Get creative and join the competition

| Aug 1, 2015

Get creative and join the competition

If you went to this past weekend’s Maker Faire at Tokyo Big Sight, chances are that all the new ideas — both innovative and kooky — have sparked your own creativity. The timing is good, since there are three upcoming design competitions that are ...

Design that sounds good and looks even better on paper

| Jul 4, 2015

Design that sounds good and looks even better on paper

Folding Tokyo’s icons Graphic design unit Cochae (Miki Takeda and Yosuke Jikuhara) have been rethinking how to enjoy origami since 2003, creating books of pre-printed sheets with easy-to-follow instructions to fold them into brightly colored animals, anime characters, kokeshi dolls and even finger puppets. ...

A few ideas that may ring your bell

| Jun 6, 2015

A few ideas that may ring your bell

Someone in your way? You can ring your bell If you’ve seen that YouTube video (bit.ly/bicyclebell) of someone ringing a handheld bicycle bell at random places in Japan, and then watching with amusement as people automatically jump out of his way, you’ll appreciate the ...

History that's been brilliantly objectified

Apr 25, 2015

History that's been brilliantly objectified

When “A History of the World in 100 Objects” aired its final episode on Oct. 22, 2010, millions of loyal listeners eagerly tuned in. The BBC Radio 4 series, on which the current exhibition of British Museum artifacts at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum ...