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Tokyo Designers Week: Say hello to the best again

by Jean Snow

Something old, something new

Halloween is here, which means Tokyo Designers Week is, too. The latter is, of course, what we’re particularly interested in, and since you are reading this on the day it kicks off, we forego our regular product-recommendation format and instead offer some guidance on what to look out for in the next seven days.

TDW is now in its 27th incarnation and, for the first time, it lasts a full week (Oct. 30-Nov. 5) with the majority of its activities taking place at the Meiji-Jingu Gaien grounds (which is approximately a 10-min. walk from Gaienmae Station on the Ginza Subway Line). The overall venue design this year was headed by architect Sou Fujimoto, and the slogan “Hello Design,” as well as a pair of related themes — “House” and “Play” — have been chosen in the hopes of attracting a larger audience of all ages.

This year, the venue will also present “Hello Night,” a series of talk shows to be held in the giant TDW dome, which can hold up to 1,200 attendees. (The ¥2,500 all-day pass comes with a coupon for a discounted evening entry of ¥1,500.)

Premiering the talks will be a PechaKucha Night Special (Oct. 31, 7 p.m.-10 p.m.). PKN will introduce a number of presenters from all fields of the design community, including renowned graphic designer Taku Satoh and Atelier Bow-Wow’s star architect Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, who will be highlighting the work of ArchiAid in Tohoku.

Other speakers hosting chats in the dome include “brain scientist” Ken Mogi on Nov. 1, architect Toyo Ito on Nov. 2 and Toshiyuki Inoko of digital-installation artist group TeamLab, also on Nov. 2.

For more information on all the events of Tokyo Designers Week, visit www.tdwa.com.

A design-conscious tide hopes to pull in waves of visitors

Running at the same time as Tokyo Designers Week, DesignTide Tokyo is once again being held at Tokyo Midtown in Roppongi (Oct. 31-Nov. 4), this time in a space designed by the paper-folding artist and creator Makoto Orisaki. A one-day pass costs ¥1,500, while an unlimited three-day pass costs ¥3,000, and there will be the usual eclectic collection of experimental works and prototypes by young creators.

This year, we are happy to see that the Drill Design duo of Yusuke Hayashi and Yoko Yasunishi — OnDesign favorites — have been selected for the “Tide Focus” show, which brings together innovative works by established designers. Drill Design has recently been racking up awards for their furniture and interior goods, with wins that include the Good Design and Red Dot awards.

As usual, DesignTide also offers a number of “extension” events. They used to be concentrated in the Aoyama area, but they now stretch to all corners of the city, so you should make sure you pick up an events catalog to get a detailed map. Otherwise, trust your instincts and follow the crowds.

One show worth catching is “Scenes” at the Eye of Gyre gallery in Omotesando’s Gyre building, an exhibition showcasing the latest designs from yet another OnDesign favorite: Karimoku New Standard. In Milan earlier this year, Design “bible,” Italian Domus magazine named Karimoku New Standard one of the “Best of Salone del Mobile 2012.”

www.designtide.jp.

The chance to take home something original

If seeing all these innovations is fueling a desire to shop, DesignTide’s Tide Market, and Tokyo Designers Week’s Designboom Mart both provide opportunities to buy original and reasonably priced interior goods, stationery, jewelry and other small items.

Designboom Mart is making its eighth consecutive appearance at TDW and has grown over the years to now include more than 40 participating creators, each of whom will be on hand to talk about and sell you their wares directly.

There should be plenty of intriguing and surprising new products on display, ranging from handmade craft pieces to the high-tech. Many are likely to find a place in this column in the upcoming months — but why wait when you can go see it for yourself right now?

For lists of exhibitors, visit: designtide.jp/2012/tide-market-exhibitor www.tdwa.com/en/tdw/special/exhibition/designboom_mart.html.