Design Tokyo Exclusive


I mentioned last week that we could look forward to an exclusive peek into Tokyo Designers Week from Wallpaper* magazine’s Japan correspondent, Gordon Kanki Knight. And despite feeling slightly under-the-weather–likely from all of the running about–he has come through with the goods:

What were some highlights from Tokyo Designers Week 2009?

100% Design is the key event of the five days of form and function, and it was leant considerable weight this year by the outstanding designs of Teruhiro Yanagihara/Isolation Unit for Karimoku New Standard, an Osaka-based creative who worked with leading international designers to create a covetable range of chairs and tables that use thinned forest wood. It lived up to the 2009 design week’s ecological theme: Love Green.

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Did anything else stand out for you?

This is 100% Design’s 24th year. And whether it was the recession starting to bite or a sense of malaise, the center of gravity has shifted away from it to what was once the week’s fringe exhibition, Design Tide.

As the new central attraction, did Design Tide deliver?

Design Tide offered a tightly edited collection of leading young Japanese designers including Tokyo-based award-winning designer Nosigner, a crack team of creatives from Seoul, and more. And thanks to Design Tide’s ‘Extension’ project this year, there were impressive shows on across Japan’s capital, including a standout display of Paul Smith’s personal art collection at his store in the Shibuya district. All in all I managed to visit enough sites to say this has been Design Tide’s best year ever and another fabulous Design Week in Tokyo.

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