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Thursday, June 24, 2010
Design for staying cool
By JEAN SNOW
Fans of a natural breeze
One of the most innovative releases over the past year in terms of electric fans has to be Dyson's bladeless Air Multiplier fan, which, despite its odd appearance, works just as advertised, pushing a surprisingly strong flow of air through a bladeless hoop. Balmuda, however, appears to be taking the opposite approach — they are offering a fan with not one but two sets of blades. The GreenFan is an eco-friendly fan with a low rotation speed that only uses 4W of power. It produces a "wall" of cool air by combining two concentrically placed fans — one with nine blades, the other with five — which together produce a pressure difference that creates a natural wind up to 8 meters in front of the fan. It sells for ¥33,800.
Hanging out to dry
Now that the rainy season has come around (it officially kicked off last week) it's become a bit of a tradition here at On Design to recommend some sort of umbrella or stand solution to help brighten those cloudy weeks. We were a bit early this year, highlighting Yuen'to's handy Magic Umbrella last month (and we still highly recommend it), but let's now embrace the tsuyu season properly with the Till Umbrella Stand. Produced by up-and-coming unit Mute for the Duende brand, the Till is a well designed stand — or "hanger," really — that, topped with with a handy tray, will look good in any genkan or porch. Available in white or black, the Till Umbrella Stand sells for ¥7,000.
Shaking up table style
How groundbreaking can salt and pepper pots be? We're not saying that Ideaco's Salt & Pepper is revolutionary, but it does present a practical way of combining what is usually just a pair of uninteresting containers. Here, both containers can be stacked on top of each other, fitting nicely together for compact storage and making a pleasant table setting to match Ideaco's similarly shaped Sauce Pot and Cutlery Stand. A part of the company's Tableware series, the set is available in three colors (white, brown and yellow) and costs ¥840.
Stationery that doesn't cut corners
Designer Yuji Baba returns to the humble eraser and produces one that you'll soon find yourself appreciating from a number of angles. A followup to Baba's award-winning Kadokeshi eraser — which even occupies a place in the MoMA's permanent collection — the Mirikeshi offers plenty of corners to make erasing more precise. Where the Kadokeshi used multiple adjacent cubes to increase the number of edges, the Mirikeshi sticks to just five. This time, each protruding part is a different size (from a pointy edge to 6 mm in width). Another smartly designed stationery release from Kokuyo, the Mirikeshi is only ¥189.
For the perfect candlelit dinner
Most people, at some point, have recycled a fancy wine bottle into a candlestick, so it's surprising that no one has come up with this before: &design, a unit known for its fun minimal products such as the Icon Watch and Icon Clock, has created the Wine Candle for Idea International's stylish Takumi label. Wine Candle is simply a fragranced candle that fits into the top of an empty wine bottle. No more melting the sides of a candle to make it fit the neck of a bottle, Takumi's Wine Candle has a specially tapered end that slots perfectly into any bottle. Available in three colors and aromas (white/chocolate, red/rose, black/apple), a pack of four sells for ¥1,050.