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Thursday, Aug. 27, 2009
Having fun while keeping it tidy and practical
By JEAN SNOW
Japanese manufacturer Teramoto has added two new products to its design-friendly TIDY (Teramoto Industrial Design Yard) line of goods. The Kop Roll Cleaner (right) and the Kop Handy Mop both have the same distinct container — that of a simple cup — which compliment the products' wooden handles. The former is a lint roller that removes fluff from clothing, carpets and furniture with rolls of tape available in two graphic designs: Forest or Ocean. As part of the design, each roll of tape has a series of bird images that are flying in the direction that the user should roll for maximum effect. The Handy Mop is a duster with fine bristles that are so soft they can reach into any corner. It's also chemical-free, which means it is easily washed and reused. Both the Kop Roll Cleaner and Kop Handy Mop sell for ¥2,625 and are available with white or brown cups. An extra twin-set of tape (one of each pattern) is ¥735, while spare Handy Mop bristles cost ¥1,050.
Music is the food of design
Shunsuke Umiyama's MicroWorks label's latest product is a set of salt and pepper shakers with a musical twist. The Note shakers don't really make music. Instead Umiyama uses the inspiration of musical notes by adapting the holes in the bottom of shakers to create a visual, but silent melody. The Note shakers were first introduced as part of this month's "Hyouge Jissaku × Claska Jissaku" exhibition at the Tokyo boutique hotel's event space, and will soon be available in select shops throughout the city, selling for ¥2,310 for both shakers.
Different but the same
400 Each is a collection of glass tumblers and bowls that, though of different dimensions, share one important characteristic: Each one can hold 400 ml of liquids. Designer Masato Yamamoto's original design concept was to create a line of goods where "each one is different, each one is the same." And that's exactly what he has achieved. The collection includes six pieces in all — a set of three tumblers and a set of three bowls. Each tumbler and bowl per set is different in shape and etched with a "4" or a "0," spelling out "400." Not quite 400 each, a set of tumblers sells for ¥2,800, while a set of three bowls is ¥2,500.
The card case
Even if your business cards don't come close to the quality of those that Patrick Bateman and his fellow colleagues brag about in the film "American Psycho," Abitax's new line of card cases will at least get your cards noticed. Designed by Kazuma Yamaguchi, the cases have an unusual slide cover and come in large array of colors — 12 in all — all with a high-gloss finish. The case can hold 15 cards and opens with a flick of your thumb. As with all Abitax products — a mainstay of most of Tokyo's interior and design shops — you won't have any trouble finding them. And at ¥2,310 each, you don't need to be on Bateman's salary to appreciate good design.
Standing ladle, a no-brainer
A bane of every cook is surely having kitchen implements roll off the counter and on to the floor while in the middle of cooking. The soup ladle, by nature, is a common culprit. Mikiya Kobayashi's Tate Otama ladle, however, has a flattened base that allows it to stand up when not being used (the product's name translates as "standing ladle"), while its interior remains rounded. It's a simple idea that makes so much sense, it's a wonder it hasn't been done before. The Tate Otama is currently available in three colors — black, white, and red — and sells for ¥1,050.