The ordinary made extraordinary

| May 31, 2011

The ordinary made extraordinary

by Jean Snow

Nendo taps into nature’s secrets Since the start of this column more than five years ago, we’ve been strong supporters of Oki Sato — better known as Nendo — and have closely followed his development as a creator into the design superstar he is ...

Design in aid of Tohoku

| Mar 31, 2011

Design in aid of Tohoku

by Jean Snow

The design world lends its artistic hand As Japan struggles with the consequences of the Kanto-Tohoku earthquake, this month’s column takes a different format to highlight some of the ways the design community has come together to provide relief and support. Architect Shigeru Ban ...

Designing with the grain

| Feb 24, 2011

Designing with the grain

by Jean Snow

For kids branching out to art Last year, Kana Nakanishi caught our attention with Koke-a, an unusual piece of furniture with a mosslike surface of tufted wool on which to relax — her graduate project for Finland’s Alto University of Art and Design. Now ...

Designs that are tidy, clean and stylin'

| Jan 27, 2011

Designs that are tidy, clean and stylin'

by Jean Snow

Tidy brand squeezes out another good design For big-city dwellers, the word “squeegee” might bring to mind those kids who, annoyingly, pop out of nowhere, clean your car windscreen and ask for money. Manufacturer Teramoto’s design-conscious Tidy brand, however, could change that less-than-favorable image. ...

| Nov 25, 2010

Tokyo Design Week roundup

by Jean Snow

Three weeks ago, Tokyo invited designers from all over the world to show their work at three major design events — Tokyo Designers Week, DesignTide and Design Touch — as well as at a host of other exhibitions scattered across the city. Here are ...

A well-designed reason to celebrate

| Oct 28, 2010

A well-designed reason to celebrate

by Jean Snow

Tokyo celebrates good design It’s that time of year again when Tokyo hosts its biggest design festival. From Oct. 29 to Nov. 3, the streets of Aoyama and nearby areas will be offering the public a taste of what’s new in household goods, furniture, ...

Design that all adds up

| Sep 30, 2010

Design that all adds up

by Jean Snow

Summing up stylish bookends There’s a reason why there’s a plus sign at the end of Ideaco’s Bookend+: They have a little something extra added. Aimed at households or offices with cramped desk spaces, the Bookend+ doubles as a tape dispenser or a letter ...

Objets d'art with a purpose in life

| Aug 26, 2010

Objets d'art with a purpose in life

by Jean Snow

Working across the grain Award-winning designer Mikiya Kobayashi is the director behind Kime, a new line of beautiful wooden household accessories for Hokkaido-based manufacturer Dreamy Person. Named after the Japanese term for wood grain, all of Kobayashi’s designs emphasize the natural beauty of his ...

Smart, trad and stylish win the race

| Jul 29, 2010

Smart, trad and stylish win the race

by Jean Snow

Gateway to stylish furniture Though we’ve already included the Karimoku New Standard line of contemporary furniture as one of our picks from last year’s Tokyo Design Week, we’ve found good reason to cover it again — the line is finally going on sale, exclusively ...

Design for staying cool

| Jun 24, 2010

Design for staying cool

by Jean Snow

Fans of a natural breeze One of the most innovative releases over the past year in terms of electric fans has to be Dyson’s bladeless Air Multiplier fan, which, despite its odd appearance, works just as advertised, pushing a surprisingly strong flow of air ...