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Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2008
PMZ pedals, the Memodesk, horned sockets, Issey Miyake watches and the perfect gift box
By JEAN SNOW
A pedal with pedigree
There are already plenty of accessories from Plus Minus Zero that bring an added sense of style to all corners of the home. Now the brand has its eyes on the garage as well. PMZ has teamed up with Yamaha to create the lithium-ion battery-powered Electro-Hybrid Bicycle PAS Limited Model. Trading in on the trendy eco-friendly vibe of recent years, there's no mistaking that this is a true PMZ product: It has the soft curvy lines we've come to expect from the brand and models available in gray and blue, the de facto flagship colors of PMZ. The battery takes up to two hours to charge and can go for 65 km. The electric bike has plenty of storage space, including a large basket front and center, making it the perfect vehicle for shopping around town. The PAS Limited Model is not available in stores, and is only being sold to customers in Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa in extremely limited quantities. Contact the PMZ customer center for more details on (0120) 2053-99.
A notable table
If you have a Memodesk in your office, the days of bringing notebooks and memo pads to a meeting are over. The work of Japanese design unit Teamlab, this novel table — big enough to seat six — has a giant memo pad covering its entire surface. At the end of any meeting, simply tear off the section with the notes you have jotted down, or take away the whole sheet. The Memodesk's pad could even be used as a disposable table cloth for particularly messy families.
Grab your chargers by the horns
As its not yet in production, put the Socket-Deer down on your wish list for 2009. The iconography of the deer has taken over the world of art and design these past few years, but leave it to designer Oki Sato of Nendo to bring real functionality to the popular motif. Created for Japanese mobile-phone network AU, the Socket-Deer has protruding antlers that hold your phone's battery charger. Voila, no more pesky chargers lying all over the floor, and a cool design to boot.
Issey Miyake's line of stylish timepieces continues to grow, this time with the Trapezoid watch from superstar designer Naoto Fukasawa. This is the second time Fukasawa has worked with the brand after their collaboration on the Twelve watch series. According to the designer, he "first had the image of a trapezoid form in rotation." The best bits of the Trapezoid are found in the details, such as the numbers for the tachymeter on the side of the bezel, which are stretched out like road markings so that they appear normal when viewed from above. The strongly contrasting colors on the watch face are striking; one of the many available combinations, bright yellow on red, not only makes a bold statement but increases the readability of the markings. There are five models with aluminum bands, each priced at ¥45,150, and four models with urethane straps, priced at ¥36,750.
At home in the box
The Tategu screams "stocking stuffer." Produced by furniture and interior shop Holz in Morioka City, northern Iwate Prefecture, the 64-sq.-cm container is shaped like a cute little wooden house and is designed to hold a prized possession. Pull out the aluminum door — which nicely contrasts with the walnut finish of the box — and insert whatever special little thing you want to make sure not to lose. The Tategu (¥3,150) makes a wonderful gift box as well, and wouldn't you know it, it's the perfect size for a ring.