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Free domestic design competitions

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If you went to this past weekend’s Maker Faire at Tokyo Big Sight, chances are that all the new ideas — both innovative and kooky — have sparked your own creativity. The timing is good, since there are three upcoming design competitions that are not only free to enter, but ...

A few ideas that may ring your bell

| Jun 6, 2015

A few ideas that may ring your bell

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Someone in your way? You can ring your bell If you’ve seen that YouTube video (bit.ly/bicyclebell) of someone ringing a handheld bicycle bell at random places in Japan, and then watching with amusement as people automatically jump out of his way, you’ll appreciate the ...

3-D printing throws ceramics into a spin

Jun 4, 2015

3-D printing throws ceramics into a spin

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Cutting-edge 3-D printing technology is changing the dynamics of Japanese ceramics as designers merge the traditional craft with a digital framework in pursuit of aesthetic refinement — and drastically reduce the time needed to create their artwork by ditching the potter’s wheel. Yuichi Yanai ...

Home in on Japan's postwar architecture

May 30, 2015

Home in on Japan's postwar architecture

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In the 1960s, architect Kazuo Shinohara made a famous comment in Shinkenchiku magazine: “Residence is art. … Residence should be outside of what is believed as architecture, it should rather be considered as a form of art, like paintings and sculptures.” A bold statement ...

Sayoko Yamaguchi, an enigma to the end

May 30, 2015

Sayoko Yamaguchi, an enigma to the end

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You may not know the name, but there is a good chance you know the face. As Clara Bow, Greta Garbo and Twiggy were iconic of their times, Sayoko Yamaguchi was everywhere in the 1970s. Even if you weren’t a dedicated follower of fashion, ...