529: Trend spotting
Trina O'Hara takes us on a tour of international furniture fairs to find
the top Japanese designers at work today.
521: Child's play
Trina O'Hara checks out the design celebrities hatching playful furniture
and accessories for kids.
517: Personal Effects
In celebration of the centennial of his birth, Trina O'Hara looks at the
life and enduring legacy of Japanese-American designer Isamu Noguchi.
513: Seeing the light
Trina O'Hara ponders the latest interior design trend and finds the answer
505: Lights of fancy
Trina O'Hara checks out the contemporary chandeliers and whimsical lighting
sculptures fast becoming fine art across the city.
501: Natural causes
493: Living rooms
Inspired by the diverse lifestyles of this teeming metropolis, design experts
Kyoko Asakura and Jaume J. Nasple-Baulenas have compiled an intriguing look
inside the city's private homes. Tama Miyake Lung talks to the authors of Tokyo
489: Living in the past
Art editor John McGee reveals three Tokyo stores that specialize in finding
the best of what's old in Japanese antiques.
485: Monochrome marvels
Black and white are back in fashion and making their mark in the interior
design scene. Martin Webb reports on how to get the look for less.
481: Cut and paste
Scrapbooking has swept America, where it's big business, and now it's catching
on in Japan. Chris Betros attends a "cropalong."
477: Moss cause
A sprinkling of moss can transform any windowsill into a miniature Zen temple.
Hanna Kite offers some tips for bringing a little tranquility home.
469: Ikebana for idiots
With a plethora of rules and schools, Ikebana can be intimidating, not to
mention time-consuming. But who says busy people have to miss out on this ancient
art form? Georgia Jacobs gives you the basics on no-fuss flower-arrangement.
466: A dyeing breed
Winning fans from New York to Tokyo, designer Akiyoshi Yaezawa is putting
a traditional stamp on modern accessories using a 17th-century hand-dyeing and
painting process. Krista Wilson reports.
457: Party of five
Matt Wilce lays out five luscious looks for New Year.
449: Thought out
Designers create spaces but they also like to inhabit them. SuperDeluxe offers
a place to drink and think for the design communityand of course their
445: Design on Tokyo
A trio of interior design events is on its way to bring style into our Tokyo
439: Setting pretty
Matt Wilce lays the table with styles for summer.
435: Tropical haven
Asian furnishings are finding their way to flats across the city
431: Wed white and blue
Treasures of traditional Japanese design, blue and white are the perfect foil
for Tokyo's sweltering summers
427: Have a ball
Who says you need tickets to catch a piece of World Cup action?
423: Collection point
Nishi-Ogikubo's 65 pre-loved furniture stores make up Tokyo's great antique
419: Flower power
Bring your gloomy flat back to life with seasonal flowers.
415: On the mend
Tokyo's fix-it men can have your furniture back in form
411: Phone home
Panasonic unveils the e-lifestyle of the near future
407: Launch Pad
Sputnik Pad lands in Jingumae
Ideé is one of Tokyos most established interiors stores
The days of sitting on the tatami floor are over
Tokyo's embraces ultra-modern design
Put feng shui to work at work
The ancient Chinese art of feng shui
Trina O'Hara checks out the design
celebrities hatching playful furniture and accessories for
Chiang's "Uni" chair
Putting together an ultra-chic pad is easy:
add one sleek designer couch by Corbusier, one dining table
made of plexiglass cubes, some minimalist paintings and a
rare 1950s three-legged floor lamp by the master architect
Philip Johnson. Creating an ultra-chic and practical interior
when you have young children, however, is a little more challenging.
Many new parents describe a kind of design discomfort watching
their racy "sports car" living room take on
the appearance of a functional family wagon.
But a new addition to the family doesn't have to end
the dream scheme. Some of the hottest architects and designers
are injecting glamour into the world of children's
furniture with designs to cultivate the imagination, maximize
the modern setting and add a buzz of celebrity to the home.
Here are a few examples to help you out of the "wagon."
Enter international design superstar Philippe Starck. The
modern icon has literally scattered Japan with architectural
tours de force. He is responsible for the giant beer glass-shaped
building that is the Asahi Beer Hall, the Nani Nani Building
in Tokyo and the Baron Vert building in Osaka. He furnished
the Elysee Palace apartments for the President of France and
won numerous industrial design awards, including a Design
Rashid's "Kapsule chairs"
And Starck does children's furniture.
His latest, offbeat, cartoon-like armchair named "Zbork"
makes use of new modeling techniques in plastic. It's
designed to look like a fabric beanbag, only its polyethylene
stands up to industrial-strength child's play. His
modernist designs are available from the innovative furniture
company Kartell, located in Shinjuku.
To add a playful, Japanese flavor to your contemporary living
space, try Tang Chiang's inflatable, sea urchin-inspired
"Uni" chair. Chiang's designs are available
under the Bozart (a play on "beaux arts") design
label thanks to company director Larry Mangel. Mangel cherry-picked
"Uni" for his range of whimsical design products,
all of which are created by exhibiting, museum-quality artists.
Following a successful career in advertising, Chiang crashed
onto the international furniture design scene in New York,
Cologne and Milan, becoming a finalist in Felissimo's
design competition in Paris along the way. Children certainly
enjoy his award-winning imagination because they can launch
themselves onto "Uni" and be taken in by its
24 air-filled arms. Go to www.bozart.com or the Asia Modern
store in Tokushima-shi to experience it for yourself.
Simmons and Peter Wheelwright's "Kaleidoscope
As the son of an archaeologist, legendary American furniture
designer Josh Owen spent the summers of his youth excavating
sites in the Middle East. He's still uncovering great
artifacts, including his latest lighting "experiments"
for children, shown at the Paris Furniture Fair and the International
Contemporary Fair in New York City.
Owen's interactive "Knock off" lamps,
available at the Asia Modern store and the Bozart website,
are arguably the most fun-filled lights on the market. The
exact size and shape of a bowling pin, the light stays on
when it's standing up and turns off when it's
knocked over. For any child who is afraid of the dark, these
attractive lamps are a fun way to turn out the light.
The kids are all right
To give children a head start in the language of good furniture
design (and add another slice of design heaven to your own
home), you can't go past the "Kaleidoscope House"
designed by conceptual artist Laurie Simmons and architect
Peter Wheelwright. The house looks like a masterpiece of the
modern design movement and has to be the sexiest, most inspiring
dollhouse ever! The house features funky mid-century modern
furniture, scaled-down versions of real paintings, photographs,
a piano, kitchen accessories, even color transparencies that
slide over each other for exercises in color mixing. The "Kaleidoscope
House" is available at Room Service in Meguro or on
the Bozart website.
"EvaDva" stackable chairs
For a young, fashionable look in your living room, you could
also opt for some "Kapsule" chairs by English/Egyptian
industrial designer Karim Rashid. The "Kapsule"
is an innovative seat design offering a practical solution
to the small Tokyo living room-it functions as a storage
unit or toy box.
A worldwide design sensation, Rashid has been called the "poet
of plastic" because he can take the most inexpensive
material and bring it to life with even the most basic form.
His Japanese clients seem to agree; they include Issey Miyake,
Fujitsu, Sendai City, Idée and Sony. His designs have
also appeared on MTV and are favored by the likes of Missy
Elliot, Kevin Spacey, Patricia Arquette and David Lynch. Tokyo
Gas even has his work in its private collection. To start
your own, go to www.bozart.com
or the Asia Modern store.
Studies show that kids respond well to pure, bright color
and pattern, so it's not surprising the latest line
of EVA foam furniture from the Tarantino design studio has
left a monster-sized footprint on the children's furniture
market. As this husband-and-wife design team live and work
out of their Frank Lloyd Wright home in the United States,
their practice has a special focus on Frank Lloyd Wright structures.
Starck's "Zbork" chair
Guided by Wright's architectural principals,
the couple developed a durable, modular seating system allowing
the chairs to be stacked and played with like building blocks.
Kids love them and so do the judges. These "EvaDva"
chairs won the prestigious Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture
and Design's Good Design Award in 2003. "EvaDva"
chairs are available at Room Service in Meguro.
So, the parental interior design cringe is over! With all
the architects and designers injecting award-winning glamour
into children's furniture, your home should be brimming
with self-confident chic. The (designer) hand that rocks the
cradle is looking after you too.
Starck beanbag chair, credit Kartell
Colorful waste paper bins, credit Kartell
EvaDva stackable chairs, credit Tarantino Studio
Kapsule chairs, credit Bozart
'Uni' Chair, credit Bozart
Kaleidoscope House, credit Bozart
'Knock off' Lamps, credit Bozart