Japan

Kawaii Monster Café, Harajuku

The Kawaii Monster Cafe is the result of a collaboration between artistic director Sebastian Masuda, a pioneer of Japanese kawaii culture and Diamond Dining.

The Café’s theme is “The new Tokyo that nobody has ever seen” (mada Daremo mitakotononai atarashii Tokyo) and actually with its 193 seats, the coffee announces the color being the biggest in Tokyo.

Spread out over 4 different zones : MUSHROOM DISCO,  MILK STAND, BAR EXPERIMENT  & MEL-TEA ROOM, the Kawaii Monster is not original in its look but also with its unbelievable array  of food and drink.

An experience not to miss on your next trip to Tokyo.

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Eat your vegetables :VEGEDECO

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VEGEDECO Salad Café, a shop dedicated to vegetable cakes that look stunningly like their sweet counterparts, opened on Tuesday in the city of Nagoya, about 200 miles west of Tokyo.

Mitsuki Moriyasu, a long-time food stylist and yoga instructor,  came up with the idea at the French restaurant that she’s been running in town for 30 years.

VEGEDECO offers a selection of healthy looking, cake-inspired ‘salads’.
Simply, they are nutritional salads disguised as cakes. This takes eating vegetables to another level !

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Sweet Sushi

These sushi kit kats are set to hit specialty stores in Ginza, Tokyo in early February. The limited edition edibles will be available in three unique flavors, each drawn from a traditional japanese dish: tuna, sea urchin and egg. ‘Tuna’ is a mix of raspberry chocolate bars placed on a bed of sculpted rice puffs; ‘Sea Urchin’ blends melon with mascarpone cheese, held together by a seaweed wrapping; while ‘Egg’ is pumpkin pudding and rice, encased in a ribbon-like seaweed shell. Bon Appétit ! source : designboom

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Nacrée, Tokyo

In Myagi, Tokyo, architect Kengo Kuma has completed the whimsical interior design of a French restaurant ran by a Japanese chef who previously worked at a 3-star Michelin restarant in France. Named ‘Nacrée’, the focal characteristic of this space is defined by an unconventional element of architecture that wraps and curves around the floorplan to form a decorative and functional element. The acrylic cylinders suspend from the ceiling to create a transparent curtain and partitioning between different zones of the restaurant;

source : designboom

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Strange Hotel, Nagasaki Japan

Welcome to Henn Na Hotel (変なホテル, Strange Hotel), a place where your futuristic dreams are realized ten fold as you are greeted and served by a series of helpful and endearing androids. The concept: to provide a revolutionary customer service experience that is cost effective, environmentally friendly, and a catalyst for further study into robotics and human interaction.

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The hotel achieves this in a variety of clever and innovative ways. Upon arrival you will be greeted by two receptionists, a female Japanese speaking humanoid with long, luscious blinking eyelashes, and a bow tie wearing, English speaking dinosaur. Since androids are not particularly skilled at finding lost room keys, guests are also required to record a digital mapping image of their face in order to register and thus there are no room keys.

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A rather friendly robot will then escort you to your room and carry your luggage for you, all while rocking out to some tunes blasting from its stereo system.

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If you simply wish to store a valuable item then the “Robot Cloak Room” is also available to customers, a gigantic robotic arm that sits in a glass encasement storing and withdrawing boxes for guests on command.

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Now that you have arrived at your room courtesy of your new party loving robot pal, you will be greeted by another new robot buddy by the name of “Tuly,” a lamp sized cutie that can answer questions like, “What time is it?” and, “What’s the weather like tomorrow?” as well as turn the lights on and off for you since there are no switches.

source : japanistas.com

Food for thought…

 

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ANREALAGE : reactive fabrics

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Just discovered this ultra original brand ANREALAGE from Japan.

Anrealage’s designer Kunihiko Morinaga has been carrying out for a while experiments along the shadow/light themes employing ultraviolet reactive fabrics.

Showcased last year at the beginning of Paris Fashion Week, Anrealage’s Autumn/Winter 2015 collection featured a series of models with bulbous charcoal helmet-like headdresses and with faces and hands covered in a matte black paint.

When light shone on the clothes, the garments would morph, revealing a white circular spot.

A name to watch out for…..

source : irenebrination

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Hat Cloud by Nendo

Inside the Seibu Shibuya department store in Tokyo, Nendo has recently completed the interiors of the ‘key to style’ fashion floor and the ‘hat cloud’ floor dedicated to millinery. The renovation of the women’s hat department saw the redesign adapting to the irregularly positioned columns. In response, a cloud-like floor plan was established within the intimate area with varying ceilings heights. the selection of hats are displayed against pastel pink walls; each one propped up by a handle to form a dynamic wall of umbrellas which wrap around the reflective seating area. source : dozen

Sunset by Nendo

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Japanese designer Nendo has produced a collection of candles which slowly reveal color and scent as it burns. Called ‘Sunset’ candles, each appear white at first, but once lit, the heat reacts to the center and begins changing to yellow then orange, red, purple, and finally to blue. The idea was influenced by the shifting shades of light during sunset; reflecting the soft transitioning of hues. Each color is accompanied by a scent: bergamot, lemongrass, sweet marjoram, lavender, and geranium. By combining scent and sight, the candle not only provides illumination, but represents the passage of time.

source : Designboom

EKOUIN NENBUTSUDO –  BUDDHIST TOKYO TEMPLE VEILED IN TREES BY YUTAKA KAWAHARA.

This intimate and reflective building enables congregation and prayer, while also providing accommodation and training facilities for region’s buddhist monks. The structure is veiled with bamboo plants, protecting occupants from the pollution and the noise from the adjacent street. The “bamboo forest in the sky” is interspersed with glass crystal screens made of 108 Swarovski pieces, symbolic of a Buddhist rosary. (The number 108 is also a symbol of material temptation in Buddhism.)

Source: http://www.yellowtrace.com.au/ekouin-nenbutsudo-yutaka-kawahara/

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Shang Xia opens space by Kego Kuma, Shanghai

Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has completed a space combining retail, culture and the arts for the contemporary chinese brand Shang Xia. Embodying Asian, high-quality craftsmanship in their opulent products, the store is located in a classical french villa within the historical and prominent district of Xintiandi in Shanghai. Inside the boutique, furniture, tea ware, clothing and jewelry are amongst some products that are elegantly displayed meanwhile a distinct and delicate canopy characterizes the space. The subtle and sculptural feature is the combination of natural wood and sandstone- instilling a sophisticated and refined look. source : designboom

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Hiromi Tango’s bundles

She weaves together vibrantly coloured materials to create participatory art projects. Designed to evoke emotional responses — and as a means for exploring her own — her works test the boundaries of social engagement; they emerge from an ongoing process of self-analysis and reflect an intimate consideration of her physical body, thoughts and emotions. Working with an assortment of materials — wool, twine, paper, plastic flowers, books, notes, letters, dolls and personal effects that are meaningful to the artist and her collaborators — Tango’s works are a visual riot of colour and woven textures.

She wraps, she knots, stuffs bundles and cascades textiles. She asks people to donate secondhand materials that are precious to them and have a personal history. She is interested in the emotions that secondhand fabrics evoke.

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NENDO named designer of the year for Maison & Objet Paris 2015

Japanese design studio Nendo has been awarded the Designer of the Year title for this year’s Maison&Objet and will create a “chocolate lounge” at the Paris trade fair.

Following a prolific 2014 – which saw Nendo design ranges for Disney as well as eyewear, umbrellas, furniture, shirts, and interiors – the studio founded by designer Oki Sato has been named as this year’s recipient of the Maison&Objet Designer of the Year accolade. was asked to design a lounge for visitors to the upcoming edition of the biannual furniture and interiors show later this month. The studio has also created a range of nine chocolates moulded into unusual shapes within a 26-millimetre cube. source : Dezeen

Congrats to Oki Sato & his team !

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Takaya & his fabulous headdresses

Japanese artist Takaya adorns the heads of models with raw vegetables and blossoming flowers. The artist affixes the clusters of plants to styled hair, just like a florist would arrange a bunch of flowers, before pruning them with hairdressing scissors. This unusual form of decoration is used for both live performances and weddings.

Models appear on stage with fabric bags on their heads. The bags are removed and the artist attaches clusters of plants to their styled hair, in the same way that a florist might arrange a bunch of flowers, before pruning them with hairdressing scissors. The pieces are created during live performances, accompanied by stringed instruments playing an improvised score.

Source : http://www.dezeen.com/2015/01/09/takaya-botanical-headdresses-flowers-raw-vegetables-taxidermy/

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Another poetic & functional creation by Nendo

A spray-type room fragrance in the shape of a snow dome. The dome can be lifted from its base, which doubles as its cap, revealing the pump mechanism. Each dome is filled with flowers, leaves and other tiny forms in polyester film indicating its fragrance. A design that disappears beautifully into the room when not in use. snow dome comes in three fragrances, all 50ml.

source : nendo.jp

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Tokyo Nights in Paris – EKO

EKO – Japanese Club & Saké Bar – 14 Rue Saint-Fiacre – Paris,75002

Blank has designed a Japanese Club that recreates Tokyo styled clubbing. Giant images of Tokyo streets are projected on the walls, together with neons and video games & vending machines. The waiters are stylish and offer a wide selection of sake, whiskey and other Japanese cocktails. On another level you can find the karaoke corner or you can hit the dance floor and listen to the latest selection of house straight from Tokyo. via mylittleparis.com

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Pampshade by Yukiko Morita, Japan

Kyoto-based artist Yukiko Morita loved bread so much that she created the Pampshade. It is a bread lamp made from actual baked bread (comprising only bread flour, salt, yeast), with added LED, batteries, and ‘some other secret ingredients’.

Pampshade combines the word ‘lampshade’ with the Japanese word for bread, ‘pao’. She has created Pampshades in the shape of baguettes, croissant, batard, and other shapes. Each loaf is coated with a layer of resin in order for it to stay as a useable lamp without rotting. via designtaxi

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When Design meets Art : Square Wind Bell by Kouichi Okamoto for Kyouei Design

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Today, the names Yuri Suzuki and Kouichi Okamoto have become synonymous as fusion artists who can freely cross the boundary between design and art. While both have worked in product design creating functional objects, each has been involved in music and sound projects and their practices have started leaning towards the pursuit of creative expression in the field of art.

Bridging the gap between the two distinct domains, their work has been displayed in a number of institutions: UK-based SUZUKI has collaborated with pop artist will.i.am on Barbican show Digital Revolution and Tate Britain for the exhibition Juke Box Meets Tate Britain, whilst Japan-based OKAMOTO has exhibited at the V&A London as part of London Design Week 2012 and 2014. via Kyouei Design

Yet another fabulous Nendo design for Hagen Dazs this Xmas

Designed in partnership with the Champs Élysées Häagen-Dazs shop in Paris, the ice cream cake is meant to go on sale around Christmas, as a way to remind Parisians to make time around the holidays to go visit their loved ones. via fastcodesign.com

“Christmas is about homecoming, about spending time together with family, so we created a cake that’s a small village, composed of houses clustered closely together,” Nendo says. “We thought the winter wonderland scene would emphasize the warmth and cheer inside each home.” Nendo

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Poetic Rain Bottle Installation by Nendo for Maison & Objet Paris September 5th – 9th 2014

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Created for the 2014 Fall edition of Maison & Objet in Paris, who asked designers to consider the relationship between language and design, the word rain was chosen for its many nuances in Japanese, a language that has dozens of words for rain depending on the condition and time of day.

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The exhibit consists of 20 clear acrylic bottles lined-up, each containing a different kind of ‘rain’. ‘Kirisame’, ‘biu’ and ‘kosame’ refer to different degrees of fine drizzle, while ‘niwaka-ame’ is a sudden downpour.

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‘Mizore’ is sleet, and a ‘yudachi’ falls in the evening. ‘Kisame’ is rain that drips from the ends of tree branches, and ‘kaiu’ is rain that falls mixed with dust and pollen

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Seasonal rains were also included, from the ‘samidare’ that falls in the spring, to ‘shigure’, rain specific to autumn and winter.

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“By exhibiting twenty different kinds of ‘rain’, we hoped to express Japanese culture’s unique relationship to nature and the depth of this relationship.” says Nendo.

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Taken from MOCOLOCO.COM

What’s your flavor ? Nendo designs Starbucks’ mugs

mug americano / mug latte / mug caramel macchiato for Starbucks

We took Starbucks’ classic white coffee mug and added a graphic to the base that looks like the surface of a coffee drink, so that when the mug is drying or being stored upside down, it looks as though it’s actually full. The mug comes in three varieties – Americano, latte and caramel macchiato – and will be released in Starbucks throughout Japan. A design that represents Starbucks’ worldview : of feeling fulfilled, and seeing the world as half-full, never half-empty. NENDO. http://www.nendo.jp/en/

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