Modern takes on the mobile, wind chimes and more


It’s time to revisit one of On: Design’s favorite designers — Kouichi Okamoto, who designs under the name Kyouei.

Recently, Okamoto has been working more on one-off items, but this month he launches a brand new product that sounds really good — literally.

The Square Wind Bell is a minimalist design of two thin, interlocking iron plates. Balance the larger square panel over the top of a glass with the diamond shape inside the glass and you have a wind chime. The square plate catches the breeze, pushing the diamond one to hit the insides of the glass. The result is a gentle clinking sound.

The Square Wind Bell costs ¥2,900 and can be ordered directly from Kyouei’s website.


Siwa goes for the slim look

The Siwa brand — a collaboration between design superstar Naoto Fukawasa and paper maker Onao — is back with another round of great paper-made products. The highlight this time is the Pen Case Slim, part of an extensive series of stationery accessories that includes pouches, lunch bags and more.

The Pen Case Slim, true to its name, is extra slim — just big enough to fit a pen and pencil — and comes in a choice of 10 colors, though the yellow-gray two-tone option is for a limited period only. You can find them online at the Caina webstore, each priced ¥1,080.

Siwa: siwa.jp Caina: www.caina.jp/commodity_detail/15105070

Mother Tool ups the Tempo

You may think hanging mobiles are a retro thing of the past, but the Tempo collection could change your mind.

A series of six mobiles, this collection is designed by a who’s who of names you may recognize from this column — Drill Design, Mute, Taiji Fujimori, Naoki Terada, Kazuteru Murasawa and Tempo’s manufacturer Mother Tool.

More like floating sculptures — all contemporary in design and reflecting the designers’ individual styles — these are minimalist or subtle enough not to interfere with any decor.

Prices vary from ¥7,344 to ¥10,260 and they are all available to buy online from Mother Tool’s Tempo site.

Mother Tool: www.mothertool.com Tempo: www.t-e-m-p-o.com

Coiled up and safe

After last month’s outbreak of dengue fever in Tokyo, the city has been extra cautious when it comes to mosquitos. The most popular — and cheapest — method to deter the insects is katori senko, those strong-smelling green, incense coils that have become synonymous with summer. Usually these are burned while balanced on a small, not particularly sturdy, metal stand.

Soil’s Mosquito Coil Case is an attractive and less messy solution. Made from a heat-resistant clay, it can hold up to 12 coils and has its own stand, which can be used with or without the perforated cover.

Mosquito Coil Case can be purchased online for ¥9,180 at the Koncent webstore.

Soil: soil-isurugi.jp Koncent Store: www.koncent.jp/?pid=62539383

A flock of headphones

Until bluetooth headphones become the standard, cable tangles are one of the most annoying things about using earbuds. Plenty of roll-them-up solutions have hit the market, but trust H Concept to come up with one of the cutest options.

Hiroshi Seki’s Sheep is a small spongy holder that comes in two sizes. It’s shaped like a shorn sheep, around which you can roll your cable to create its “woolly” coat. There are notches by its legs to ensure the cable stays snug, plus another in the sheep’s mouth to hold the bud ends.

For ¥540 you get one of each size, and they are available in pink, white or black at the H Concept online store.

H Concept: h-concept.jp/fs/hshop/c/sheep