Home > Life in Japan > Lifestyle
  print button email button

Thursday, Aug. 26, 2010


Objets d'art with a purpose in life

Working across the grain

News photo

Award-winning designer Mikiya Kobayashi is the director behind Kime, a new line of beautiful wooden household accessories for Hokkaido-based manufacturer Dreamy Person. Named after the Japanese term for wood grain, all of Kobayashi's designs emphasize the natural beauty of his medium with a clean, modern aesthetic.

The Kime collection currently includes the following seven items: a bottle opener (¥2,940), a toothpick holder (¥2,300), a shoehorn, both long (¥10,500) and short (¥3,990), a pen case (pictured, ¥5,040), a tape measure (¥2,625), and a clock (¥7,350). Each item is also available in one of three wood finishes: maple, cherry or walnut.


Mountains of beer for the summer

News photo

The summer heat is not over yet and most of us are still finding a chilled glass of beer a great way to keep heat levels down — or at the least help you forget the discomfort. We've taken quite a liking to the winner at the Judge's Special Prize at the Tokyo Midtown Award, Keita Suzuki's Fujiyama Glass, produced by handcrafted glassmaker Sugahara. Yes, the name is a literal reference, as glass design is inspired by Japan's most sacred of mountains, Fuji, to which a beer's frothy head makes a pretty snowcap. Now there's actually a good reason to pour yourself a drink with a tall head.

The Fujiyama Glass sells for ¥3,776 — a price that matches the height in meters of the real Mount Fuji — and comes packaged in a beautiful wooden box.


Sprinkle a little practical beauty on the walls

News photo

Functional objets d'art are a theme this month, so we feel obliged to bring up design collective Naft's Sprinkle hooks. Quite possibly the furthest from what you would expect a hook to look like, Naft's have a simple geometric form that gives each one a number of protruding "mounting" points. Not only does this makes them aesthetically attractive — the company describes the shape as closer to something natural or organic — but it also makes them more secure to hang things off.

The Sprinkle is available in two sizes: 15 x 9.3 x 5.5 cm at ¥4,200, and 10 x 9 x 5 cm at ¥3,780.


Hanging up your artwork

News photo

Design duo Fift has an interesting proposal: Turn those miscellaneous objects that people leave on side tables and counters — keys and such, yes, we all do it — into wall-mounted pieces of art. Well, kind of. At least the wall-mounted part is true, as the Eninal Tray Mini (we can only assume there will be an upcoming larger version) is a tray that works vertically instead of horizontally. Essentially a flat wall magnet, the Eninal tray holds, or rather lets you hang metal objects in any way you like. Take a minimalist approach and hang a single object, letting it draw attention to itself, or throw a whole mess of stuff on there and create a personal installation project about the things you need to hang on to.

The Eninal Tray Mini — at a width and height of 35cm — costs ¥11,550.


A box with a twist

News photo

Papercraft toys are all the rage these days — such as Twelveton's Pneuma-box that we covered last year — and we're glad to see that such paper constructs are now influencing the design of more practical products. Take Azumi Mitsuboshi's Lid Thread boxes for instance. Purchased as a flat sheet template, you push out ready-cut shapes that are folded together to form a box. It's lid is a clever spiral construction that fastens with a twist.

The Lid Thread is available in two shapes — as a cube or antiprism — each priced at ¥735. A couple of videos on the maker's Web site show exactly how to assemble the pieces.


Back to Top

About us |  Work for us |  Contact us |  Privacy policy |  Link policy |  Registration FAQ
Advertise in japantimes.co.jp.
This site has been optimized for modern browsers. Please make sure that Javascript is enabled in your browser's preferences.
The Japan Times Ltd. All rights reserved.