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Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Double espresso or a Twin Tea Cup?

The Occupy movement's cry of "One percent!" has been a recurring feature on the world news these past few months. So let's make sure that the negative notion of 1 percent of Americans holding a hugely disproportionate amount of U.S. wealth is not confused with Nendo's terrific line of 1% Products. In fact, when it comes to objects, that monicker for the elite points to a very positive concept of the exclusive.

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The idea behind Nendo's line is that only 100 of each product is made, so each item is carefully designed to be special enough to be a limited edition. A new collection will be launched at the upcoming Milan Design Week (Milano Salone, April 17-22), as part of Nendo's solo exhibition at the Palazzo Visconti. This series mostly comprises of dishes, but we particularly like the Twin-Tea Cup — which is actually a coffee cup and saucer with a filter holder that looks like another cup and saucer.

When released in May, the entire range will be available to buy from the 1% Products website.

Nendo: www.nendo.jp.

You can never have too many fans

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As big fans (pun unfortunately intended) of Balmuda's fans, the brand's new GreenFan Cirq (pronounced "sakyu") is on our to-get list. The compact design boasts a very low energy consumption, using as little as 3 to 20W, and yet it still manages to fan air to a distance of up to 15 meters. More than just a product to cool things down, the device is also being touted as something that can promote air circulation in a room and help prevent moisture buildup.

The GreenFan Cirq costs ¥19,800 and can be purchased directly from the Balmuda website.

People-friendly packages

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You wouldn't think that anyone would want to redesign the foam pellets used for packaging fragile goods. After all, we usually just throw them away. But Sano Design have cleverly created a product that not only makes opening a parcel fun but also encourages us to recycle the packaging.

Cushion San are cute foam figures that come in a variety of bright colors. They protect goods just like foam pellets do, and because they're attractive, people are more likely to reuse them, even if not for packaging.

Available in black, yellow, gray, white, green, pink and blue, Cushion San is sold in sheets of 60 figures that all connect to each other like a jigsaw puzzle (no waste parts!). At ¥525 a sheet, they can be found at Tokyu Hands and Beams shops, or online via Wrapping Club on Rakuten.

The vase coverup

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Unless you're into vases, you might have been forced to use a bottle or even a glass on those occasions when you do receive a bunch of flowers. Drill Design's Vase Jacket is a great way to disguise that boring vessel and transform it into something far more attractive. Designed for the JoBu line of canvas products, the Vase Jacket, as its name suggests, is a vase-shaped jacket that slots over bottles, glasses, mugs or any other unattractive receptacle you'd like to hide. It can also be folded flat for compact storage.

Available in two sizes at ¥1,800 and ¥2,400, they will be launched at the JoBu x Spiral Showcase at the Spiral building in Tokyo's Aoyama Ward from April 2-8.

Now is the right time to be Normal

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The Normal lineup of watches expands yet again, this time with the Vivid Series.

Tokyo-based designer Ross McBride has created another classic with this latest batch of colorful timepieces. A unique detail to this watch is that the face is blank aside from an indication of the hour that the wearer is actually experiencing.

It's a simple but effective design where the hour hand is actually a disk that covers the whole watch face, except for a narrow opening that reveals the hour numbers beneath.

Available with faces in navy blue, light blue, green and magenta, a Vivid Series watch costs ¥28,350 and can be purchased directly from the Normal website.

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