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Tokujin Yoshioka, Nosign Design etc.

by Jean Snow

A drop of light

Designer Tokujin Yoshioka applies his unique touch to yet another product category, this time lighting, with the stunning new Tear Drop lamp for the Yamagiwa brand. Yoshioka has proven time and again that he can use a variety of materials in original ways. This time he tackles glass, with the resulting globe — not unlike a crystal ball that you could predict the future of design with — shaped as a beautiful, floating droplet of water frozen in space. Yoshioka himself likes the shape so much that he’s also introduced the Tear Drop Chair, blowing up the lamp’s aesthetic to a suitably comfortable size. But you’ll need to be patient if you plan on getting your hands on either — the lamp is only scheduled to be on shelves in 2008.

www.yamagiwa.co.jp; www.tokujin.com

An extra hand

Keys, wallets, cardholders, watches, mobile phones . . . all things that most of us use on a daily basis, and somehow never manage to find a proper place to stash when we get back home. Sure, you can use the top of a drawer, but I like a new solution from designer Takafumi Nemoto, who works under the name PORE. The GOONY is not your average accessory tray; the bendable extensions are easily adjustable and can produce a multitude of forms, turning this useful storage device into something that bears a resemblance to a child’s plaything. Produced for the shop +d and available in white, brown, green, pink, and yellow, the GOONY goes for ¥1,800.

www.plus-d.com

The charm of low-res

I’ve been following the previews of &design’s designs on their Web site for the last two years, and I’m pleased to see more of their conceptual products make it to retail. As you’ll see with the Icon Watch, LED Watch and Icon Socket, &design have drawn more than a little inspiration from the simple computer desktop icons of old (before the slick high-res icons that now adorn modern software). It’s an attractive aesthetic, and one sure to be popular in this age of retrocool. Since these are produced by TAKUMI, you can be sure that they’ll be available in most of Tokyo’s design shops. You can also catch more works by &design, including prototypes, at an exhibition at the Living Design Gallery OZONE in Shinjuku from Sept. 27-Oct. 9.

www.anddesign.jp; www.idea-in.com/takumi/; www.ozone.co.jp

Forms of a feather

The name Nosign Design says it all. Even the creator behind it refers to himself as Nosigner, with the idea that his works have “no signature.” It’s a fitting title considering the various projects he has been associated with — take, for instance, the Pokkari light. Made to fit the principle of limiting the “design” of the object, the result is more organic and true to life; with a lampshade made up of feathers, it mimics the appearance of a cloud. Nosigner was a participant at last week’s 100% Design exhibition in London, where he presented the Pokkari lamp. The lamp should also be making an appearance, with other products, in the Tokyo edition of the same event this November.

www.nosigner.com

Recycling rain

Kouichi Okamoto, the man behind Kyouei Design, continues to add to his whimsical collection of unusual products with the Umbrella Pot. Just as the name suggests, this is an umbrella stand that looks like a flower pot. Why do that? So that the dripping umbrella will water whatever greenery you plant inside the receptacle at the bottom of the ceramic stand. Combining a stylish form with a touch of eco-awareness, it might just end up being the talk of your front hall.

www.kyouei-ltd.co.jp

Jean Snow keeps an active eye on Japanese design at his Web site www.jeansnow.net