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Goods to spruce up the dining experience

by Jean Snow

This month’s Kikof

This month, we’re focusing on perfecting the kitchen and dining room, kicking off with the aptly named Kikof, a covetable set of dishes and tableware. This beautiful ceramic collection is the result of the Mother Lake Products Project initiative, which pairs creators in Tokyo with artisans from the Lake Biwa region in Shiga Prefecture.

The octagonal shape of the entire series gives the plates, bowls, mug and pot a clean, modern form, and they come in subtle pastel tints with quaint names: Noon White, Morning Blue and Sunset Pink.

The Kikof line was recently introduced at a pre-launch event at the Kigi pop-up shop inside Tokyo’s Omotesando Hills (B3F), but they will be available directly online from mid-August, with prices ranging from ¥2,592 for the smallest plate to ¥20,520 for the pot.

www.kikof.jp

Kitchen sink cleanliness need not be draining

When prepping a dish, a sink drainer full of peelings and remnants can get pretty disgusting, but I’mD brand’s latest addition to its Kcud (pronounced “kuudo”) collection aims to solve this.

The Kitchen Garbage Drainer is a simple plastic, foldable contraption that you place in the sink and drop peel and other unwanted bits of food into.

When done, you can shut it to squeeze out excess water and dump the rest in the garbage. If you don’t need to drain, it also has hook loops on it, to which you can attach a plastic bag for even easier disposal.

The Kcud Kitchen Garbage Drainer costs ¥972 and is available in white or green at the Koncent online store.

www.koncent.jp/?pid=77747522

Don’t eat these greens

Make sure you always have some greenery at the dinner table with these fun sets of cutlery.

Not quite forks, Kotaru Usugami’s Hetatsuki are pronged sticks that are shaped like green plant stems with tomato-like sepals at the end. At 14.5 cm long, they’re perfect for serving mouth-size morsels, which end up looking like they were picked from a tree.

Sho Iizuka’s Hetayoji, on the other hand, are the cocktail-stick version, and are topped with strawberry-like sepals. They’re ideal for hors d’oeuvres and fruit.

Hetatsuki come in packs of three, in dark or light green and cost ¥540, while a pack of eight Hetayoji is ¥756 and includes four of each color. Both will be released in September, when you can order them online from the Koncent webstore.

Hetatsuki: bit.ly/hc10802 Hetayoji: bit.ly/hc20802

Taking paper planes to new heights

OK, this is not a kitchen-dining utensil. But when you’re done eating, it’s time to relax and play, and for gentle, harmless fun, why not try the old-fashioned paper plane.

Or rather, a modern, high-tech paper plane.

For high-performance paper aerodynamics, you won’t find finer than Aozora’s Wings Plane Alpha. The plane’s designer, Yasuaki Ninomiya, is a “paper airplane engineer,” with 70 years of experience — he was a grand-prix winner at the first International Paper Plane Competition in the 1960s — and he has spent his life putting all his knowledge into producing paper planes that leave others in their wake.

So actually, you might want to take the Wings Plane Alpha outside, because you can expect several hundred meters of flight and it remaining airborne for more than 30 seconds.

Available in either red, blue or yellow, the Wings Plane Alpha is ¥648 and can be purchased online from the Koncent webstore.

www.koncent.jp/?pid=77510210

H Concept encourages student design

H Concept is clearly a favorite of this column — it produces Hetatsuki and Hetayoji and runs the Koncent store — and this is partly because of its support of up-and-coming designers. One of the secrets of the brand’s success is that each year, it partners up with the Musashino Art University for a product-design competition that gives students the chance to see their designs manufactured and sold.

The theme is household utensils and this year, if you’re a student or recent graduate of Musashino Art University, you can apply until Sept. 1 via H Concept’s website.

The rest of us will have to wait to see the winning products, which will be available online, with the winners receiving a percentage of sales.

www.h-concept.jp/00mau/2014mau