Trends at Tokyo Designers Week

written by:
November 2, 2011

We sent crack writer and Dwell's woman-in-Japan to check out Tokyo Designers Week. Here's what she found.

Fall foliage may be drawing crowds in Kyoto, but color of another sort is all the rage this week in Tokyo, where designers from Japan and abroad are showing off their latest creations at the city’s annual design fest, Tokyo Designers Week. I followed the rainbow-colored road through the booths in search of the best and brightest designs of the year.

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  Keita Shimizu’s new Altonesta chair and stool are covered in the same breathable mesh used on running shoes. The covers slip off to wash or trade in for another candy-shop shade.
    Keita Shimizu’s new Altonesta chair and stool are covered in the same breathable mesh used on running shoes. The covers slip off to wash or trade in for another candy-shop shade.
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  Turn your television into a Martian with Masashi Yonemoto’s screw-on legs–cute cartoon face not included.
    Turn your television into a Martian with Masashi Yonemoto’s screw-on legs–cute cartoon face not included.
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  Kenji Mizuno’s stackable Cake Tables add a slice of glossy color to any room. Two pushed together form a rectangle, and eight of this prototype make a whole multi-colored cake.
    Kenji Mizuno’s stackable Cake Tables add a slice of glossy color to any room. Two pushed together form a rectangle, and eight of this prototype make a whole multi-colored cake.
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  Cape Town designer Heath Nash Heath Nash and his workshop of eight build lamps from discarded plastic bottles. He says scrounging enough colored ones is quite a task.
    Cape Town designer Heath Nash Heath Nash and his workshop of eight build lamps from discarded plastic bottles. He says scrounging enough colored ones is quite a task.
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  This retro chair prototype by Yokohama’s Issei Shibuya, covered head-to-toe in mustard boucle, was so cozy my tour of the expo almost ended right here.
    This retro chair prototype by Yokohama’s Issei Shibuya, covered head-to-toe in mustard boucle, was so cozy my tour of the expo almost ended right here.
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  Just looking at the prototype for these buff furniture braces by Kamakura design company Squama made me feel safe in the face of future earthquakes. Slip a Brace Brother between the top of a shelf and the ceiling, twist the central screw, and voila: stabilization without holes in the wall.
    Just looking at the prototype for these buff furniture braces by Kamakura design company Squama made me feel safe in the face of future earthquakes. Slip a Brace Brother between the top of a shelf and the ceiling, twist the central screw, and voila: stabilization without holes in the wall.
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  These felted puzzle cushions are cottony-soft and entertaining to boot. Too bad their designer, Rumiko Ishikawa, is still a student at Kawashima Textile School and the design is not in production.
    These felted puzzle cushions are cottony-soft and entertaining to boot. Too bad their designer, Rumiko Ishikawa, is still a student at Kawashima Textile School and the design is not in production.
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  Okay, so Dutch design duo Douwe Jacobs and Tom Schouten’s folding plastic chairs aren’t exactly breaking news, but they’re making their Japan debut–and they’re just so cool I couldn’t resist snapping a shot.
    Okay, so Dutch design duo Douwe Jacobs and Tom Schouten’s folding plastic chairs aren’t exactly breaking news, but they’re making their Japan debut–and they’re just so cool I couldn’t resist snapping a shot.
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  Electric octopus anyone? The crazy guys at Squama are at it again with a power strip–or make that power tentacle–prototype.
    Electric octopus anyone? The crazy guys at Squama are at it again with a power strip–or make that power tentacle–prototype.
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  Screw-on tops from Gung in Tokyo turn empty plastic soda bottles into shampoo or dish soap dispensers. Simple, useful, and–what else?–colorful.Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our  FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!
    Screw-on tops from Gung in Tokyo turn empty plastic soda bottles into shampoo or dish soap dispensers. Simple, useful, and–what else?–colorful.

    Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!

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