Japanese Design Online

Japanese Design Online

By Aaron Britt
As much as we admire Japanese design here at Dwell—peep the current issue, Japan Style—we rarely get across the Pacific to visit. So, like so much else, we devour loads of it online. What better way to continue the celebration of Japanese design you'll see in the magazine this month than with a tip of the hat to our favorite Japanese design websites? Read on for what we consume when it comes to the best architecture, product, and commentary coming out of the land of the rising sun and let us know what your favorites are in the comments section below.

Here is Satoshi Itasaka's iconic Balloon Bench.

This entry comes from associate editor Jordan Kushins, and Spoon and Tamago is a site she quite adores. It's a great spot for the latest in Japanese graphic design, art, and culture, and we always like to check in on writer Johnny Strategy's Tokyo-New York musings. Check out this post on furniture designers Satoshi Itasaka's love of conceptual design.


If you take your ideas as hot as your industrial design, the social commentary, design criticism, and Marxist bent of Neojaponisme should strike you just right.

Wakiiii on Flickr

This is a former Shibuya-ke House from 1822. Image by wakiiii.

Flickr is often a good bet if you aim for little more than browsing endless photos, and the user wakiiii has a killer set of photos of Japanese architecture, modern and otherwise. Lots to see here. My favorites tend to be the small houses like this one.


Japanese Magazine Cover: Design, Vol. 2. Yusaku Kamekura. 1960

Graphic designer Ryan Hageman has a great tumblr site going that catalogs loads of Japanese posters, book jackets, illustrations, magazines, and more. In addition to being a pretty eye-popping site, Hageman allows users to sort the images by decade, offering a glimpse into what in the mind-bending compendium came when.


A glassed-in smoking cabin at a Japanese train station. Katayama writes, "it has this wonderful zoo animal on display effect that I found deeply entertaining as I waited for the shinkansen to Sendai a few weeks ago.

In our Japan Style issue we leaned on writer Lisa Katayama to report on what kinds of design opportunities can come out of a disaster, like the horrible tsunami in March. To get a greater sense of her take on all things Japan and design, visit her personal blog. A quick perusal includes a photo essay of drunken salarymen to the particular design of smoking lounges in Japanese train stations.


Get the Dwell Newsletter

Be the first to see our latest home tours, design news, and more.