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Getting creative in the home

by Jean Snow

Let’s take the tube

If you like practical, everyday furniture that still retains an unusual aesthetic, the Paper Tubes Bench by Rewire’s Akihiro Otsuka is ideal. As you’ve probably guessed, the main components are paper tubes, which are wrapped in fabric that’s available in 75 colors. One bench has six tubes, allowing for endless color combinations.

To assemble, the bench’s wooden legs are bolted together, and the tubes attached by velcro straps. It’s easy to unfasten, so you can rotate the tubes (a useful feature if the color fades with time and use), or you can even just replace them with a different color when you feel you need a change. At ¥42,000, the bench can be bought online from Generate Design — a stool version is also available for ¥37,800.

Rewire Generate Design

Prehistorically modern cutlery

Nendo

Sekki — a Nendo-designed three-piece cutlery set — is stunning. Made in collaboration with Kobayashi Kogyo in Niigata, one of Japan’s oldest metalwork firms, these beautifully crafted pieces really need to be seen and held to be fully appreciated. The odd, alluring shapes of the spoon, fork and knife have the raw and “prehistoric” aesthetic the designer intended, but with an accomplished finesse that can only be achieved by skilled artisans. To perfect each piece, Kobayashi Kogyo used a complex process that included pressing the metal seven times, followed by both sand-blasting (the concave areas) and polishing.

The three-piece Sekki set is being sold exclusively at Seibu Department Store, and each piece is priced at ¥5,040.

Nendo Seibu

Clean that recycled air

Balmuda

As the weather gets colder and windows stay firmly closed, air control becomes more important than ever. Balmuda’s Air Engine, as with everything Balmuda, offers not only clean and neat design, but also refreshing simplicity — there are only three control buttons: extreme quietness, energy saving 5-watt-only use and the air-blasting jet-cleaning mode.

If you’re feeling in particular need of fresh air, you can get the new 360-degree enzyme filter, designed to deodorize and disinfect air during its circulation process. The filter should last for about a year (500 hours of operation).

Available in white with either black or gray accents, the Air Engine costs ¥49,800, with choices of filter ranging from the basic at ¥4,200 to ¥9,800 for the new enzyme one.

Balmuda

Getting back on the Koloro wagon

Torafu Architects

Torafu Architects has added to the fantastic Koloro line of “storable furniture,” the designer’s collaboration with plywood-manufacturer Ichiro. Fans of the Koloro-Desk and Koloro-Stand will be happy to hear that now you can get the Koloro-Wagon.

The wagon is made up of three boxes that can be used separately as baskets or stacked to form a cart or storage unit. When used as a cart, the handles of each basket double as resting stands for the basket placed on top of it.

You can order the Koloro-Wagon directly from Ichiro’s website for ¥29,400, and it comes in two sets of color combinations — sky blue, white and yellow, or dark green, pink and gray.

Torafu Architects, Ichiro

Mitsubishi highlights and solves a problem

The Promark View highlighter is one of the

One of the annoying things about using a highlighter is that the tip is usually so fat, it blocks the view of the words you are trying to highlight. Mitsubishi Pencil has come up with a solution: the aptly named Promark View.

By making the majority of the Promark View’s tip transparent, and having the ink reach the wide end via a tiny stream in the middle of it, users can see the whole word that they are highlighting. No more accidentally marking more than you wanted.

Promark Views are ¥157 each and come in the usual colors: yellow, orange, blue, pink and green. An all-color five-pack (in a clear case) costs ¥787 and a three-pack of pink, yellow and green costs ¥472. The pen is included in this year’s Good Design Award lineup and is currently one of the “Good Design Best 100,” with the special award winners to be announced on Nov. 7.

Mitsubishi Pencil Good Design Award

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