Ever wished you could jump through your TV screen and live in the dreamy land of animated fairy tales? Well if you go to Tokyo, you can come pretty close — at least, for the space of an evening. Just head over to Alice in Magic World, a new café-cum-fantasy space that’s inspired by the Lewis Carroll classic (and subsequent Disney movie).
My girlfriend and I got home last Tuesday from a ten day visit to Tokyo. We experienced the earthquake that hit Japan on that Friday, and we were amazed with how friendly and helpful the Japanese people are, even in a situation like this. Before all this, I put up about twenty paste-ups in the Shibuya area of Tokyo.
Drawing it’s name from the Japanese sound of the term for ‘chit-chat’, PechaKucha is a new format of presentation taking the design world by storm. Or perhaps, not so new. Founded in 2003 at Super Deluxe, a basement bar in Tokyo, it is now celebrated in 382 cities worldwide and growing.
Eating out of a vending machine never looked so good. Let’s face it, eating this way will probably never be healthy. But could you be enticed by it’s sleek looks? Tokyo vending goers think so. Though they have had a long standing love affair with automated food dispensers (they have the highest number of vending machines per capita), we all know that Tokyoites do tend to be the harbingers of cool, especially when it comes to electronics.
Irish artist Craig Smith has recently released a series of illustrations, which explore his fascination with Harajuku, an area of Tokyo that’s famous for its street fashion and counter-culture.
These are some pretty insane glass ball juggling skills by a Japanese dude in Tokyo, set to a quirky soundtrack and observed by some clearly perplexed tourists (doesn’t the bald guy in the background ‘get it’, or is he recoiling after being royally tangoed?). Bowie would be proud.
Founded in 2000, the Distil Ennui Studio is the brainchild of London-based photographer Alexander James. James has over twenty years experience as an advertising photographer with past clients including the Microsoft Corporation, Peugeot, Hewlett Packard, Samsung, Versace, Shangri-La Hotels, Burj Dubai and Chanel. This work was taken in Tokyo and is part of his Taxi series.
These ‘manner posters’ appeared in Tokyo subways between 1976 and 1982, informing passengers on subway etiquette and good manners. We’re not sure why it didn’t catch on elsewhere — a colourful and entertaining poster versus a crackly intercom message from a bored driver? Hmm. The posters were published in a book, Manner Poster 100′, printed in 1983 by Teito Rapid Transit Authority.
In a city like Tokyo, where high-density living has reduced green spaces to mere pockets, and Japanese food self-sufficiency has dropped below 40%, it makes sense to look to alternative forms of agriculture to feed the growing population. Enter Pasona 02, a square kilometre of underground farm located in an abandoned bank vault that prepares jobless youth for work in the agricultural industry.
Splitting her time between London and Tokyo, artist Maya Hewitt has a wonderfully crude style, her almost featureless faces distilled down to pure expression and vast swaths of color in her images capturing the materiality of the ink she uses.
Leave it up to the trend hungry folks in Tokyo to create a bra that grows rice. Internationally known lingerie company, Triumph, recently revealed their Grow Your Own Rice Bra. With the intention of developing agricultural awareness, the bra can grow rice anywhere, anytime. Now, if that would only work the same for my boobs.
The original New York porthole into Japanese Kyju and vinyl toy culture, Toy Tokyo is back with a new East Village storefront showcase for cutting-edge designer sculpture. Along with other luminaries such as Kid Robot, Toy Tokyo has filled the void between the comic book shop and the art gallery with some of the most […]
Ken’ichi Otani Architects have built a house in the city of Matsubara in Osaka, Japan that seems almost too clean, white, and beautiful for anyone but an OCD heir to inhabit. I wouldn’t mind housesitting there, though.
Vending Machines: Coined Consumerism, a new book by Christopher D Salyers, documents the most outrageous vending machines imaginable, from the depths of cute-kitsch-cool Japan, to the dark alleyways of New York City. With its gritty, fly-on-the-wall photography, Salyers presents a fascinating picture of the journey vending machines have taken, from ‘technologically humble beginnings to the flashy consumer environments of today’.