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 ...

Something old, something new, something blue

| Apr 4, 2015

Something old, something new, something blue

Traditional craftsmanship is in the bag When it comes to finding an elegant way to employ traditional crafts for contemporary products, Yosuke Inui has got it in the bag. A combination of attractive textiles with centuries-old woodcrafting techniques, Inui’s Wappa Bag retains just enough ...

The measure of all things is limitless

Mar 27, 2015

The measure of all things is limitless

In its light-hearted approach of presenting exhibits that include everyday items, contemporary design, artwork and historical objects, “Measuring: This Much, That Much, How Much?” at 21_21 Design Sight has its fair share of crowd pleasers. It begins with the “Perfektron,” an installation that cleverly ...

The Suzukis' coffee cups runneth over

Mar 19, 2015

The Suzukis' coffee cups runneth over

Among the hundreds of gilded and finely painted cups and saucers of “Demitasse Cosmos: Glitter of Jewelry” at the Mitsui Memorial Museum is a modest set that may be easily overlooked. Emerald green in glaze, with a simple black handle and rim, it’s a ...