Upgrading the ordinary

| Sep 27, 2011

Upgrading the ordinary

by Jean Snow

Ice-cool statements Here’s a fun example of the power of design: Turning something as simple as ice cubes into a political/environmental statement. Monos’ Polar Ice are two cups that act like ice-trays to produce blocks of ice in the shape of a polar bear ...

Cleverness in things great and small

| Aug 30, 2011

Cleverness in things great and small

by Jean Snow

Milestones for cyclists There’s a bicycle craze currently sweeping the nation — or so the media would have you believe — and in the midst of it, we’re starting to see designers pay particular attention to cycling accessories. Design trio Mile has introduced a ...

Some new old favorites

| Jun 28, 2011

Some new old favorites

by Jean Snow

Ready for the summer buzz There’s one summer discomfort that has yet to kick in: the dreaded mosquito attacks. To help us win the battle over insects, household goods brand Vitantonio has teamed up with Kincho, an insect-repellent manufacturer, to create the Mosquito Buster. ...

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. ...

Tokyo Design Week roundup

| 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, ...