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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

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ON DESIGN

A spring jewelry collection


Kouichi Okamoto of Kyouei Design, who usually creates household items, has launched his first line of jewelry — and of course, it's not your average collection of fashion accessories. The series is titled "form of the function," and all the pieces are made from repurposed industrial components.

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The range includes rings, earrings and brooches, most of which have a unique springlike feature. Depending on the item, there are a range of different colors created by gold, platinum or black nickel plating or red urethane coating. Geometric and minimalist, they certainly stand out, and despite their industrial nature, they are surprisingly delicate in appearance. Priced from ¥1,500 to ¥3,000, like all of Kyouei's products, you can order them directly from the company website.

Kyouei Design: www.kyouei-ltd.co.jp.

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A house of pure air

The Chikuno Cube + House is a simple yet effective air purifier and deodorizer designed by Satoshi Umeno for Chikuno Life. The component that produces all the magic is an ultra-fine powdered bamboo charcoal that has been molded and honeycombed into a 4-cm cube. The cube's 600 tiny holes allow air to pass through and odors are absorbed by the charcoal. When placed on its wooden base, the cube becomes a cute little house ornament.

Bases are available in either natural ash or dark brown, and there are two sizes: one for a single cube (¥3,465) and another for four charcoal cubes (¥9,975). They can be ordered directly from Chikuno Life.

Chikuno Life: www.chikunolife.com.

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Lounging around

Now that the hit Japanese film "Thermae Romae" — featuring Hiroshi Abe as an Ancient Roman who is transported to modern-day Japan — is playing in theaters, perhaps it's time for us to let the inner Roman out. Cosine's Ohirune Sofa (Nap Sofa) is something that wouldn't feel out of place on either end of Abe's magical gate.

With the futon cushion, it becomes a Romanesque lounge chair, and without, it can be used as a bench or even as a low table for kids. Made of maple, the Nap Sofa frame costs ¥79,800, while the cushions, which come in a few color combinations (white/blue, orange/green and brown/green) are ¥15,540.

Cosine produces all its furniture in the Hokkaido city of Asahikawa, and both base and cushion are available via the Caina webstore.

Not to be shoved to the side

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Seiyo Ezure has produced three side-tables for the Aisa brand that are all so useful, we honestly can't decide which one we like the best.

The largest, 32 cm wide, 42 cm long and 38.6 cm tall, is called Hacono. It's basically a storage box, with a removable tray as a lid. The Air is a bit taller at 46.6 cm, and its tray covers a shallow box area, beneath which is a shelf. Last is the Noie, which is slimmer than the other two, and has a shallow box above a magazine rack.

The Hacono costs ¥31,500, the Air ¥33,600 and the Noie is ¥29,400. All three can be ordered directly from the ANS online store.

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Those blooming glasses

100%'s Sakurasaku Glass is not new, but despite being fans, we've not had a chance to feature it in this column.

It's a delicate idea that makes use of a slightly annoying problem with cold drinks: The base of the Sakurasaku glass is shaped like a sakura (cherry blossom), so that when condensation runs down the glass and makes the bottom wet, it leaves an outline of a flower wherever it has been resting.

There are a three types of glasses, and now they are available with a pink or green tint as well as in the original clear. The collection is priced at ¥2,940 for the rock glass, ¥2,625 for the tumbler, and ¥2,415 for the sake glass (you can get a discount when buying a pair), and they are available at 100%'s online store.



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