In Episode 2 of We Are All Radioactive, we introduce you to a fisherman who’s weaving a hammock out of fishing net rope. The Japanese artist Shigeki Fujishiro used a similar type of rope to make these awesome (but perhaps not very practical) bags.
How cute is this spatula that looks like a smiling fish?
via Spoon and Tamago
I love this dining set for kids made by Funfam. Everything’s made of bamboo and is reusable (huge amounts of wooden chopsticks are used and thrown away every day in Japan), but not only that, the embedded cutlery design automatically teaches your kids how to set a table! It’s one less thing you have to teach them &mdash not to mention that it’s just an extremely cute design. The only caveat: it costs $200.
What a great idea &mdash an ashtray made out of coffee grinds, created by Ryohei Yoshiyuki. So you don’t have to have that stinky stale smell sitting in your living room all day.
via Moco Loco
Check out this cool new house in Mitaka, suburb of Tokyo, designed by architect Hidetaka Shirako.
via Dezeen, photos by Hiroshi Ueda.
This lovely video, aptly titled “White Box,” shows a designer contemplating his colored pencils and a simple white box on his drafting table. This was actually created by director Makoto Yabuki for architecture firm Sturdy Style.
The NY Times has a great article with pics about the imminent destruction of Nakagin Capsule Tower, a rare survivor from Tokyo’s Metabolist architectural era of the 1970s. The tower, created by architect Kisho Kurokawa, is full of apartment units that are actually factory-made capsules with compact built-in furniture and a giant porthole that, for many residents, faces a busy highway. The writer offers this explanation as to why there isn’t a bigger movement to preserve this unique building:
all over the world, postwar architecture is still treated with a measure of suspicion by the cultural mainstream, which often associates it with brutal city housing developments or clinical office blocks. Partly, too, it has to do with the nature of housing blocks in general. They are not sexy investments; they do not feed an investor’s vanity or offer the cultural prestige that owning a landmark house does.
Check out this ingenious concept for bicycle pit stop areas by Tokyo’s Store Muu Design Studio. Basically, anybody riding a bike could just ride straight into one of these tables, which locks the front wheel and provides them with an instant table to rest or snack on. The cyclist can stay on his/her seat and just have a regular seated meal. Japan has tons of bicycles, and parking them has become harder and harder as the crackdown on randomly parked bicycles continues. So this is a great solution for those who need to stop for a bite but don’t want to get their bikes confiscated. I can totally see a fast food chain or restaurant wanting to install these, but I can also see it causing huge clusterfucks on sidewalks and promptly being banned.
What a beautiful tea house by architect Terunobu Fujimori. He built it for his own use in Nagano Prefecture. A traditional tea house is supposed to be self-constructed and extremely tiny; Fujimori saw this as an interesting challenge, and created this super-tall, super-small (he can’t sit up straight inside the tea room) building, which he dubbed Takasugi-an (takasugi literally means too tall). Fun! More pics here.
What could possibly feel better than dropping a giant turd while preparing to do a virtual ski jump? Not much, I’d imagine. Japanese coffee company Georgia painted public toilets at several ski resorts to mimic a ski jumper’s perspective, wrapping the walls in illustrations of mountains and drawing skis where the feet go, and a giant slope on the front wall. Apparently, the toilet paper holder says:
“Seriously kick-ass intensely sweet for the real coffee super zinging unstoppable Max! Taste-explosion!”
Garth write in to tell us about a fun bilingual magazine that no longer exists. Lucky for us, some of the articles are online:
Eat Creative is this design house in Tokyo that started out publishing a magazine called Eat. This magazine was similar to Benetton’s Colors magazine in that each article was in two languages and each issue had a theme. In the case of Eat, it was Japanese/English and the themes were always food related. They stopped publishing this
magazine several years ago when they realized the could be more successful just doing design work for other companies.
I remember there was a two page spread on interesting Japanese gourmet ice cream
flavors; lettuce, sperm whale, etc. There was also an interesting/slightly-disturbing article on people that drink their own pee.
Eat main page