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From paperclip holders and cityscape planters to corner lights and sustainable cameras

by Jean Snow

Even though we are moving — forcibly — toward the paperless office, the reality is that we still at some point find ourselves with piles of physical documents to deal with, which usually means a desktop covered in paper clips.

Clipnest not only helps you keep that mess in order, but it also turns it into your personal artwork. Designed by Ryosuke Harashima, it consists of a wooden egg — crafted in Yamanaka, Ishikawa Prefecture — stuffed with a magnet. Place the Clipnest on top of a pile of paper clips — it becomes an instant nest.

At ¥2,520, the Clipnest was originally only being sold at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, but later this month it will be available to buy on the ARICATA online store. There’s also a black urushi lacquer version available for ¥3,360.

Ryosuke Harashima: root-h.com/clipnest aricata.stores.jp

THE brand and THE SHOP

You don’t get more “definitive” than by calling your brand THE, as Manabu Mizuno (of Good Design Company) has done with his own brand. THE aims to create simple defining and classic items — sort of what Muji was doing back in the day when it only offered one version of all its products.

If you’re on the lookout for the T-shirt or the lunch box, then turn to THE products, which are unsurprisingly available at THE SHOP, located in the new Kitte building in Marunouchi, near Tokyo Station. THE SHOP carries both the brand’s entire line, as well as a carefully curated collection of defining goods.

THE: the-web.co.jp

Lighting up another dimension

You wouldn’t normally associate dimensional rifts through space and time with product design, but Rod Serling’s classic “Twilight Zone” series immediately came to mind when we first saw the Peel Lamp.

Designed by YOY — a Tokyo-based duo of Naoki Ono and Yukki Yamamoto — this nifty little OLED lamp gives the impression that your wallpaper is peeling away at the corner to reveal a glowing dimensional rift. It’s super flat, so it really does look like part of the wall, and the cord is thin enough to be unnoticeable running down the corner of the room.

The peel lamp is actually not yet available, so it hasn’t been priced. But we are hoping it will be released before we slip into another dimension.

Yoy: www.yoy-idea.jp yoy-idea.jp/jp/works/peel

The world’s first sustainable camera

Retro photography and Lomography fans are surely familiar with Superheadz — maker of both digital and analog “toy” cameras that take those increasingly popular old-style photos. Now the company has come up with another way to merge new with old. The Sun and Cloud is described as the first “self-sustainable” camera — a rechargeable device that doesn’t need to be plugged into the mains.

There are three ways to recharge the Sun and Cloud: with sunlight (it’s equipped with a solar panel), by turning a crank, or through a USB plug. To fully charge the camera (75 minutes of use) takes 12 hours in the sun or a shorter stint via USB, while 30 rotations of the crank will give you 2-4 shots. The camera also has many digital features, including a variety of modes (15 in all). But that doesn’t mean it’s a “quality” camera — in keeping with the Superheadz style, you’ll get retro-style snapshots. Available in black and white, the Sun and Cloud costs ¥18,900 and is available at the Superheadz webstore (HeadzShop).

Superheadz: www.superheadz.com/sunandcloud HeadzShop: www.superheadz.com/headzshop

Landscape desktop gardening

Planters have to be quite special to make it to this column, and Metaphys’ Ienami hits the mark. Inspired by the Japanese art form of bonkei (“tray landscapes”), this wonderful collection of building-like planters allows you to create your own miniature cityscape.

With steps, doorways and different-size sections to pot your plants, they do look like tiny modern homes, which you can also customize by adding your own figures. Four different models are available (Hiroba, Roji, Tunnel and Zigzag), each costing ¥2,625.

You can order them directly from Metaphys in Japan, or buy them at the Generate website.

Metaphys: www.metaphys.jp www.metaphys.jp/product/nature/archives/2012101572.php Generate: www.gnr8.biz/product_info.php?products_id=1556

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