Tokyo Designers Week 2014 1st of 3 posts

This is the third year in a row that I go to this event, it is the reason why I am becoming picky.Design Week 2014, Sunday evening

Design Week 2014, Sunday evening

Let`s start to write the oddest thing, to raise up the evaluation at the end of the post.


Unfortunately this year we decided to not bring anything from home and appreciate the variety of different shops that the Design week was usually offering. The 2014 week offered…just one shop, I do not even remember the name. Three kind of dishes:  curry, burger and pasta plus dessert and coffe from nespresso machines (not bad at all)…but at 1`o`clock, the burger was already gone. For 2400yen we had one pasta  and one curry with three different curry sauces. Although the curry was ok, the pasta was …those kind of sweet things, sometimes you eat in the worst places in the world.

Just near this restaurant was placed a BBQ area where some special people were enyoing the weather and the braces. To my request on information how to join them, they replied to me just “go to the entrance and get the ticket”. I went to the entrance and that was not true, an invitation was needed to join the party.

Really I did not want to join that kind of people since they seemed to me more close to the Halloween atmosphere than the TDW. I got the impression they were closer to a sort of pop-AV-porn culture than a Design fair. I am still wondering what they were doing there.

Ok, the odd has gone. Now let`s switch to the positive.

An incredible exposition of kimono designed by contemporary well-known brand leaders inspiredby Hokusai. A gift to Design Week, really a big surprise.

A collection , carefully chosen of Architectural models from several japanese architect leaders ( o+h (Maki Onishi + Yuki Hyakuda) / CAt – Coelacanth and Associates (Kazuhiro Kojima + Kazuko Akamatsu) / Kazuyo Sejima / Makoto Tanijiri / SANDWICH (KOHEI NAWA) / MOUNT FUJI ARCHITECTS STUDIO (Masahiro Harada + Mao) / Sou Fujimoto / Terunobu Fujimori / Akihisa Hirata / Riken Yamamoto...) called “architectural model

20141026_165946They were all very interesting indeed! The one above is from Toyo Ito, a working name is Aoi-mori Arena Athletics Stadium. Aomori is just below Hokkaido.

The padillion from the Universities is always fun to walk through but when you pass in front of the Seoul University…well you cannot avoid to look at those hot features!

The  container exhibition was also very attractive this year.  I did 20 minutes of line to see a 3d performance from a dancer, with a very sophisticated and professional 3d video. They have succeded in having me very excited. I was floating in their world, and sometimes get scared by the Heightness. (Dance in the rain, by KodaKumi), if you go don`t miss it.

20141026_171525A good event was the planting of a symbolic tree, probably from somewhere in Africa,

in this video below a moment of the work.

And that`s it. I did not go to the supermaterial and the superrinnovation. I am sure they were good, but I had to play with my kid in the outdoor where the universities showcases some funny things.

We were running through tunnels like this, getting the students worried of the safety of their works.


And the Winner is…

It is a clear and well realised idea from Kappes. It is called MOMENTum

here below I shot some seconds

I think that “workpiece” is envisaging the power of human creativity applied to the concrete things in order to reach a superior level. Nothing less.

All the other things were nice, some of them very well realized, but this was…more.





Laketown shopping mall, Koshigaya 越谷, Saitama Prefecture (埼玉県), by Oobayashi Architects(大林).

IMGP2091This is the second time I went up there

It is the biggest mall I haver visited. There is a shuttle bus between the head and the tail of the buildings. Technically, it is outside of Tokyo, as its location is within Saitama prefecture, and it is not a “beauty” in strict sense. (I mean how can an oil tanker be a beauty, it just carries goods)… More over are two shopping malls and one outlet bonded together with bridges over the main road.

They present also themselves into an unified concept since you arrive there. One is called Forest, Wind and ….they forgot to call the Outlet in a proper way, it is just Outlet.

Totally they cover 220,000 sqm than there is more, the artificial lake of 400,000 square metres that embellishes the window`s view and gives the proper name to the “town”.

The whole was planned by a giant retailer chain called Aeon, through an agency, indeed the center is called Aeon Laketown.

It is worthy to point out that Lake Town also features Japan’s first consumer-ready charging station for electric vehicles.

It has been open at least from 2009.  I imagine not all of 556 shops opened the same day…

This blog call the new open at the beginning of October 2008.

the Wind (Kaze) and teh Forest (Mori) has its design from Oobayashi Architecture Office..

The outlet is apparently younger, this Aeon document (pdf )says 2011, and it is feasible since its design is more a pathway than one piece.

It is composed by three independent branches called 1st, 2nd and 3rd Avanues, thatare joining the Mori and the Kaze together in an alternative way.

Here the wikipedia voice dedicated to Laketown.

Here some nice pictures from the Taisei Corporation who took care of the lighting project for 2011 Christmas I guess.

Here a blog of an enthusiastic neighbourood with a video. He claims that is the biggest mal in Japan.




Apple store in Harajuku, by Mitsui Jun and Associates, 光井純

Last year was in construction, recently it has been inaugurated, just on time to present the latest “invention” to sell.

IMGP1829Apparently they opened last June,

Here a very good report of the shop with some videos.

The thing I liked the most was the main ladder, with the transparent steps.

This blog compare the shop with the one in New York, but theye are not comparable on my opinion…

This other one, followed the progress of the works on site…fascinating.

This other blogger, was very interested to watch the details of the curtain walls and the railings. It must be a designer….

This one, sounds like she is a technician, write about the composition of the curtain wall. She claims to be composed by 5th different layers of glass. Also argue about the strongness of those high glass walls to resist the earthquaqe horizontal forces which is an achievement, to her opinion (I guess a woman is the writer). The only blog that states tha Jun Mitsui is the architect is this one. Others seems don`t care.

and last here a new building ready to go just in front of this one.

The impressive rhythm of this part of the city still surprises me.

IMGP1830It announce another building under the auspices of the Italian Brand Max &Co. It will open next August the 15th, by the architect name of Sakakibara Yukiko (榊原 由紀子). An Italian, named Roberto Macchia represents the builder,Unity Real Estate Japan, I believe they are all correlated to the Ishimoto firm, as this design award from 2011 shows.

I actually update the post with a more detailed name, Andrea Tognon Architect. Here it is his official web site, where it is possibleto see the preview/rendering of the real building.



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Nesta Brand (Harajuku/Omotesando) Tokyo by…unknown architect

IMGP1772This was a short walk in the sides of Harajuku-Omotesando, plenty of nice places to go for shopping.

…Or see nice cutting edge hair dressers and so on.

This building chatched my eye since it is a bold idea, it almost erases the sense of roof thanks to those gothic arches to as main door of the Shops. TO me is really interesting, even this feeling of ancient solidness as if it was a medieval fortress. In some posts I have read the name of Cooper Architects linked to this music sotre Nesta or it might be somethng else, I admit I did not stepped inside.

It is really something not common for Tokyo.



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