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Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012
Double-A seating power
By JEAN SNOW
The AA Stool is the lovely result of a collaboration between Torafu Architects and the Ishinomaki Laboratory, a platform that brings together creators in one of the hardest-hit areas during last year's earthquake and tsunami, Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture.
Based on the concept of sideways stacking, each stool is made up of 2x4 cedar wood modules that when fitted together form a "crossed-leg" structure, a little like an open stepladder. Each unit is sold as two stools that when standing side by side look like two A's in profile — hence the name.
The beauty is not only in their simplicity but also in their function — when multiple stools are stacked side by side you end up with what amounts to a solid bench.
The AA Stool will soon be sold through Ishinomaki Laboratory's Yahoo! Japan shopping site, priced at ¥9,800 a pair.
Torafu Architects: www.torafu.com. Ishinomaki Laboratory: www.ishinomaki-lab.org. store.shopping.yahoo.co.jp/ishinomakilab/index.html.
Waste not, want not
Our love for Torafu continues, this time with a fun follow-up to a product that we featured earlier this year. The Koloro Stand is an offshoot of the Koloro Desk — literally. These colorful alphabet-, house- and other shaped bookends are made from the offcuts of the plywood that was used to build Koloro Desks. Recycling waste is always something to be admired, especially when the result is as fun and attractive as what you get here.
A single-color Koloro Stand sells for ¥1,800, while the two-color shapes are ¥2,300, and they can be ordered online directly from Ichiro, the maker.
Getting framed in style
Drill Design's Paper-Wood material — a product of its Plywood Lab project, which explores ways to utilize plywood with various other materials — has been used in a number of furnishings over the past few years — a noted example being the Paper-Wood Stool, a Red Dot Design Award winner. The Delfonics Gallery (inside Shibuya Parco Part 1) now introduces another creative use of this eco-friendly material.
The "Frame & Blocks" exhibition presents a Paper-Wood Frame, and the gallery has teamed up with photographer Takumi Ota, whose stunning landscapes help show them off. Available at the exhibition (which runs until Dec. 10), they come in two sizes: ¥4,410 for 133x181x30 cm, ¥5,040 for 190x240x30 cm, or in a large size and with a photograph at a starting price of ¥55,000.
Trying out the real Mini-Me
If you think "print club" photobooths are a bit outmoded, here's an introduction to what might be the next step up: a 3-D printing photo booth.
3-D printing technology is just starting to become affordable on a consumer level where even home printers are available — albeit at a cost that matches a high-end computer. If you do want to experience it firsthand without shelling out for the hardware, though, visit the special installation at the Eye of Gyre gallery in Harajuku.
The installation runs until Jan. 14 and you'll need to make a reservation through the event's website. If you do get a place, you can choose from three sizes of 3-D figurine portraits: S (10 cm tall) for ¥21,000, M (15 cm tall) for ¥32,000, and L (20 cm tall) for ¥42,000. Group discounts are also available for three or more people.
Breakfast with fonts
Fans of typography and typefaces are probably already familiar with U.S.-based House Industries type foundry and design studio. If not, just know that it is responsible for numerous typefaces that have appeared in films, TV and product design, not to mention a number of design collaborations. Now, you can include the group's fantastic sensibility as part of your breakfast routine, courtesy of a tie-up with Nagasaki-based ceramics maker Hasami.
The 2012 Morning Set comprises — in either black or brown — mugs (¥2,625), bowls (¥2,310), pots (¥6,825), plates (¥4,200) and patterned placemats (¥2,940). All of the designs feature a typographical pattern that riffs on the "H" of both House Industries and Hasami, and the entire collection is oven and microwave safe. For online orders, visit the Hasami website for a list of retail sites stocking the collection.