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Monday, 31 October 2011

Dom Arigato - A Bowing House for Tokyo Design Week


As part of the Arigato Project initiative for Tokyo Design Week, the Japanese Design Association has called for submissions across nine creative categories under the theme of Arigato / Thank You. The second collaboration from the designers behind the Isomodal Townhouse, Dom Arigato [The Bowing House] has been selected by the Panel at the Design Association to be exhibited at Tokyo Designers Week. Over 100,000 visitors will see the design alongside projects from Absolut, DoCoMo and Dubai Futures before it is published in the spring.

Drawing influence from the iconic form of a bow of thanks, the name Dom Arigato is also a play on the Japanese phrase ‘Domo Arigato’ meaning thank you very much, and ‘Dom’ the Latin word for house. Humble in its proportions, the house uses simple materials that respect Japanese heritage and modern aspirations.

The only project in the architectural category to be selected, Dom Arigato won praise for its environmental credentials; specifically designed with the urban Japanese landscape in mind. Solar cells are optimally positioned to capture energy from the sun while a living wall attracts wildlife and provides urban areas with greenery and oxygen

Blown Away by Designboom


In a little known corner of Moscow, just of Stretenka Street [which shares a name with Stretenka Design Week; the little brother to Moscow Design Week], is a shop/cafe/lounge called Designboom. Trawling out the best of Russian design inevitably led me to this place, and on first visit I was a little underwhelmed.
A credible smattering of European designer classics and smaller Russian pieces on the ground floor was only a front to the veritable Aladdin's Cave on the lower floor [and very easy to miss; as I did until a second visit was propmpted].

If there was ever any doubt about it, Russia gets design. The volume, quality and breadth of the collection at Designboom trumps anything I've seen in London, New York, Seoul or Tokyo. A bold statement and utterly deserved.

Back to Basics @ Moscow Design Week


I recently spotted this innovative straw bench as part of the Organic Dwelling exhibition at the Moscow Museum of Architecture. Curated by Lidewij Edelkoort for Moscow Design Week, the exhibition explored how designers are influenced by primal instincts; "like animals, constructing architecture based on lifestyles, affected by geographic influences, and inspired by local materials and perfected skills."

Nice to see the concept of Mancaves acknowledged by the pillars of the design world then. As for the bench, it was surprisingly comfortable and easily convertible to a commercially viable domestic design.

Noma Bar - Big Dog in a Bigger World


Isralei artist Noma Bar is a big dog in graphic design. He has published 600 illustrations, two books, and over 60 magazine covers including designs for Time Out, The Economist and Wallpaper*. Noma's big dog status has been super-sized in his latest exhibition with an iconic dog shaped die cutting machine.

The signature dog design from the series is masterful in a variety of levels. Using negative space, the canine portrait consumes a cat, which in-turn consumes a mouse. A poignant reminder of the relativity in which we all exist: At face value our focus is on the big dog; but the cat gets it's mouse too; the big dogs of this world ceasing to exist without it.

Design Trawler Acquires... the Colour Yellow


Yes you heard correctly. Design Trawler, or rather it's globetrotting ambassador, has just acquired the colour yellow. Not just any yellow, the colour yellow. That's right, the most famous yellow in the world, moniker of DesignTrawler.com and preserve of Pantone Corp, 'Pantone Yellow C', has a new owner.

Okay, so laying claim to a colour is a bit far fetched, and in the interests of keeping myself out of court, Pantone Yellow C translates as #FEDF00 on Unicef's Own a Colour website. A brilliant initiative, Unicef is offering people the chance to 'own' one of 16.7 million colours capable of being displayed on a computer. A design led alternative to sponsoring would-be bathmats and help save a child's life. Buy yours here.
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