19 February 2018

natural material

This table light from Muji is probably designed by Naoto Fukasawa ( related page is here ). Simple geometric shape makes the appearance modern, but the natural materials make us feel comfortable. Especially I like the combination of the hand crafted Washi, Japanese traditional paper, and a block of wood. You can also choose gorgeous marble block instead, although it is very expensive unlike the other Muji products.

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14 February 2018

lovely illustration

These lovely package for AUDREY, the popular sweets shop, is by Yoshie Watanabe ( related page is here ).

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The shape of skirts is impressive in the illustrations, and I think the low contrast of color scheme is also very unique. Her Kawaii world always attracts female customers and contributes the business.

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09 February 2018

layers of words

This installation is just a small room coverd with words. I guess these words are from some literary work I don't know exactly.

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You can see so many layers of words in different color when you get closer.

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You can feel the power of hand writing from the work. ( related page is here )

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05 February 2018

Honda battery

I know Honda used to manufacture an electric generator utilizing small engine in their product portfolio, but this latest one is purely a powerful battery which supplys 500W maximum. Why Honda has to make a battery, not an engine? Well, an automobile company may not be an engine manufacturer any more. ( related page is here )

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31 January 2018

zakka

This graphic is captured from Japanese word 雑貨 , general goods, which is for the exhibition directed by Naoto Fukasawa in 2016. The graphic is by Kaoru Kasai ( related page is here ), unique trimming of the word looks geometric pattern so that even we Japanese can't recognize it was a Kanji charactor at the first glance.

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26 January 2018

unique layout

I met a unique way of display when I visited a gallery in Yokohama. Some paintings are set vertically on the floor.

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And also vertically even to the walls.

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Therefore the both side of the work can be seen.

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The layout may be one of the important tool by itself for artists to express their messages.

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22 January 2018

Roji in Kyoto

Roji, a narrow passage, is one of the attractive point of Kyoto you should walk in if you have a chance to visit. This one below is a passage to the temple through a Japanese garden. The layout of stones looks modern, but has hundreds year history.

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Here is a walk through passage which people living there use for their life.

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Here is a passage to the restaurant I visited when I went Kyoto last time. Bamboo coverd wall on the right side is by the similar technique as in traditional fences.

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This one is also Roji to another restaurant, unique ceramic tiles are used instead of stones. The wall on the right side is coverd with Shiba ,a kind of grass which is also used for traditional fences. I guess these long passages are for transforming from one to another, like a time tunnel for virtual trip.

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17 January 2018

Hiroshima

Hiroshima Chair is one of the icons of Naoto Fukasawa's works. This chair recently became famous when Apple's newly built headquater featured it for their visitor center. But why Hiroshima? It' the place where MARUNI, the manufacturing company, is located. ( related page is here )

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Here is another version which has a cussion seating.

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I love this Hiroshima Stool which has beautifully curved shape.

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This has clever detail of joint on its lovely bottom.

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12 January 2018

package design for vesitable

Here is a special package, amazingly for cone. Many of you would think corn is one of the cheapest vesitable, but this one is a kind of precious species and carefully grown by hand. I guess the designer thought the package should look worthy and be strong tool for telling the story behind the product. Actually people would be surprised when they open it up and feel it precious. Do you think this is too much and wasting?

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08 January 2018

pink dogs

These pink dogs with random white dots are by Yayoi Kusama. ( related page is here )

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What do you think these are for? They are phone chargers. Yes, these are special edition set of cellphone from one of the major telecommunication carrier, around 10 years before.

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And they also have carrying cases like these. Crazy? That's Yayoi Kusama.

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03 January 2018

dog year

This is the year of the dog in Japanese astrology. Twelve animals are selected as signs of zodiac, last year was the cock and the next year is the boar for example.

Here are dog robots, not horary signs but old AIBOs by SONY. The robot was designed as a pet, but has silver body with black visor.

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Sony recently released the new version of AIBO which has the latest technologies such as sensors and AI, and the appearance was changed to realistically smooth and look friendly. ( SONY site is here ) I like the first one much better though.

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AIBO has several models in its history, and this futuristic style was not popular. It seems to be difficult to design robots together with its charactor.

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29 December 2017

vacuum

The days before new year is very busy for most of Japanese to clean their houses. Many foreign people think curious when I say this story because for those who has a western culture background, the end of the year is to spend quiet days with their families. I guess the year end cleaning has traditional reason that is to welcome the god of the new year, and also to make us feel fresh on the new years days.

The picture below is a vacuum cleaner for japanese market. It is very compact to fit Japanese small rooms and light enough to be carried by elderly people.

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The product is from Panasonic and its main body is made of glass fiber reinforced plastic to make it sturdy and light. Cool, time to clean now.

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25 December 2017

the cross of the light

Tadao Ando is the one of the Pritzker awarded and probably the most famous Japanese architect of the decades. ( related page is here ) He designed so many architecture from small houses to the huge complex buildings, but this small church he created at his early career is the best known. (BTW this photo was shot by mistake, but I like it)

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Ando's works includes mockups and drawings were shown at the exhibition in Tokyo. And his famous "church of the light" was litelary duplicated on the courtyard of the museum. The real size mockup is almost the same to the original church, concrete formed walls and used wood floor. Only difference is no glass on the cross shaped slit, however that was in his original plan.

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I like the details of the church, especially the light effect designed by utilizing the gap between simple elements of the structure. It's also cleverly emphasizing the texture of the concrete walls.

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The exterior appearance is not conspicuos, quite natural enough to fit the emvironment.

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The outside of the cross is like this, so hard to identify it was a church if you don't know the the strong image from inside.

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20 December 2017

design cake

Yokohama Bay Sheraton has a small pastry shop, and their tiny cake pictured below is very good (their croissant is also wonderful BTW). Its taste is great of cource, and the design is visually unique as if celebrating the winter season.

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15 December 2017

long life design

The lounge chair designed by Katsuhei Toyoguchi is the one of the iconic funiture of Japanese mid century modern era. This model is also called Agura Chair, cross leg sitting chair, for the low and wide seat. Actually the seat hight is only 340mm and suits Japanese traditional Tatami matt room.

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Here is another famous lounge chair of the era designed by Isamu Kenmochi crafted by woven rattan. He designed this for a bar lounge and aimed to make the impression relaxed by using soft shape formed with natural material. Both of the design is more than 50 years old, but the products are still manufacturing even now. Good design is really long life.

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11 December 2017

share house

This is a concept miniature of an apartment house which has four rooms on the upper floor and a large sharing space on the ground floor. This concept was done by an architect team called ondesign, and realized in Yokohama city.

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Each private room has its own staircase outside to connect the ground space. The neat platform of the staircase creates lovely balconies.

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The ground space is also open to outside, wide openings are on every face of the house.

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It could be for workshop, meeting space or clubhouse, even for cafe or gallery.

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06 December 2017

EV concepts

Every car maker appeals their EV concept these days, and Toyota is not exception ( from my another blog ). They say sensors hidden in the cocpit detect driver's behavior and emotion, then AI reflects the driving properly. The exterior design is also futuristic, although it looks like a toy for me somehow.

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The compact version also has the similar function, the display on the front face is for communication with somebody, or maybe with nobody.

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One of the trend of Japanese car maker is personal mobilities such as walking assist devices or wheel chairs. Not only Toyota but Honda is proposing the idea since years before. ( related page is here )


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01 December 2017

Big Site

Tokyo Big Sight is the name for Tokyo International Exhibition Center, and is around 20 years old now. The style of the buildings is a kind of the Post modern, and the convention center which designed like the inverted pyramids with titanium panels covered became the symbol of the area.

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Its details are still futuristic even now

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Recently they renewed the visual identity, the pyramid shape and the titanium color of the tower is applied to their new visuals.

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They are neatly designed and look very sophisticated.

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27 November 2017

autumn in Kyoto

I found unique shape of holes on pavements of a street in Kyoto. And then noticed tiny red berries were dropped and blowed in the holes.

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I don't know what they are, but must be tasty for birds.

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And autums leaves, of course. ( related page is here ) Winter is coming soon.

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22 November 2017

autumn in Nara

When I visited my hometown Nara, it was the season of Kaki which is one of the typical autumn fruit in Japan. ( related page is here ) It is also well known for the famous Haiku subjected about together with Nara.

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And I found another fruit, but I really don't know. A kind of citrus, maybe.

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It was also time for autumn leaves to cover the ground. Winter is coming very soon.

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