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Tuesday, Sep. 25, 2012

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ON DESIGN

15.0% keeps ice cream cool


15.0%'s ice-cream spoons have already been featured in this column, and now they're being complemented by Naoki Terada's new Ice-Cream Cup.

Made of porcelain, this container takes on the form of a flat-based ice-cream cone, which is not just a fun design but one that makes the cup easy to hold. Unlike the spoons, which are made of solid aluminium to conduct heat and slice through the ice-cream, the Ice-Cream Cup is hollow, and its double layer of porcelain insulates your dessert so that it doesn't melt so fast.

The Ice-Cream Cup costs ¥3,150 and can be purchased from the Caina webstore.


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Where to shelve those secret documents

With a concept that sounds like it would be de rigueur for the home of an MI6 agent, Torafu Architects' Clopen looks like an ordinary shelf — except it really isn't.

The thin "wooden" plank doubles as a secret drawer. How is that possible? The plank is in fact a hollow aluminum structure covered with a wood veneer. It's unlocked with a magnetic set of keys, revealing a slim drawer in which you can store small objects — or, of course, your top-secret documents. We're jumping the gun a bit here, Clopen is still a prototype — we just can't wait for it to appear in stores.

Torafu Architects: torafu.com/works/clo

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Taking toys to a new aesthetic level

Fumie Shibata is no stranger to this column, proving to be adept at clean, simple household objects. Now she adds toymaker to her credits.

Shibata's beautiful Buchi line of wooden toys and children's goods so far includes an oval car (¥5,800), which can be bought as a set of three (¥17,000) and connected together to form a train; a collapsible chair (¥18,000) constructed from puzzle-like pieces; a toy box (¥38,000), equipped with wheels and strong enough for a toddler to ride on; a stacked puzzle set (¥6,800); and a simplified set of dominoes (32 pieces for ¥4,800 or 64 pieces for ¥9,600).

The Buchi line should be in stores soon and a shop section is planned for the Buchi website.


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It's looking up for chopstick design

We love it when a designer finds a way to add an extra level of minimalism to a product that not only improves its aesthetics, but also enhances the way it functions.

Mikiya Kobayashi's Uki Hashi are a pair of flat-sided chopsticks that are stylish and subtly more useful than ordinary ones. With one of their sides curving upward, the tips of these chopsticks won't touch the table when set down. That means you don't need chopstick rests.

Available in "mini" and "standard" sizes, Uki Hashi are priced at ¥735 and ¥840, per pair, respectively, and are available in yellow, orange, pink, green and beige at H Concept's online store.


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Now, those are good eggs

Having black eggs in the fridge is probably a bad idea, unless they are Soil's Drying Eggs.

As the name suggests, these eggs absorb humidity and moisture, but they also deodorize. They are made of charcoal and diatomaceous earth (a soft, porous and absorbent rock).

Designed to keep your fridge fresh, they'll fit perfectly in the egg rack and each one costs ¥630. Available at the Koncent webstore.



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