The minimalist

There’s a new addition to Balmuda Design’s Highwire LED desk lamp series, which has already turned heads thanks to the thin aluminum bodies of its sleek offerings. The worthy followup is called the Highwire Smooth and is available in a smaller size, with a few technical improvements that should get you thinking about upgrading your original Highwire. The biggest improvement — one that boasts eco-implications — is the lowering of the new lamp’s energy consumption down to 4.5 watts, with a lifespan of more than 50,000 hours per LED bulb. The lamp is also specifically engineered to be used with monitors, as it is designed to reduce eye fatigue following long hours in front of a screen. The Highwire Smooth retails for ¥38,000.


A touch of green

Buy a pack of Green Pin push pins and by just posting notes you’ll start creating a pleasantly meadowlike landscape on your cork board. Produced by the king of novel Japanese designer goods, H Concept, these push pins were conceived of by Joonhyun Kim, a young South Korean designer who first made his mark as a bronze winner at the 2008 Muji design awards — for his innovative A Precise Stapler — and then received an International Design Excellence Award this year.

Kim’s Green Pin shines on two fronts. First, it provides a visually organic connection when pushed in a cork board. Second, and more importantly, the pin’s “leaves” give your fingers a better grip when pushing them in. A set of five, which includes four green pins and one light-green one, sells for ¥525.


Fresh holes

Fumie Shibata, a favorite of On Design, is back with a new way to freshen up the home. The Room Deodorizer series produced for Kobayashi Pharmaceutical innovates in a simple and effective way by adding a hole in the middle. The speed a deodorizer’s scent disperses is a function of its total surface area, and the donutlike shape adds plenty more to this new product. The design contributes to better air flow to help spread the freshness. The Room Deodorizer comes in three scented flavors, described as “natural green,” “fresh blue,” and “gentle pink,” as well as a fragrance-free style, and promises to work for up to 1 1/2 months of use. Each is priced at ¥472.



A compact offer

Designer brand Amadana has entered the compact video camera fray with the stylish new SAL pocket model. Coming from Amadana, which is known for its elegant take on homeware and electronics, you know it’s going to look good. Available in five shades (black, silver, brown, green and pink), the SAL features a minimalist set of controls and a universal USB interface. The pocket video camera is a bit overpriced — ¥19,950 seems like a lot for a VGA quality camera with only 2 gigabytes of onboard memory, but one thing the SAL does that the Flip doesn’t is allow you to copy video from one SAL to another. But still, I wouldn’t be surprised if many are willing to pay the “Amadana tax” just to have a gadget that not only works well enough but looks even better.


Future stools, in color

The light yet sturdy Paper-Wood Stool unveiled by Japanese design unit Drill Design during April’s Milan Design Week attracted a lot of attention, and deservedly so. Another product from the trendy ecoconscious school of design, the stools are made out of a mix of recycled paper and laminated wood veneer. The colorful striped effect is produced by stacking sheets of variously colored papers, giving each stool unique design. Although a release date and pricing has yet to be announced, the Paper-Wood Stool is sure to be hit once it’s in the stores.


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