Throughout history, Japan has faced numerous natural disasters. Each time, its people have stood strong and gone on to rebuild their communities. On 11 March 2011 the Great East Japan earthquake struck the country and has once again reminded us of the importance of disaster and emergency preparedness. Rather than the conventional emergency preparedness kits that all tend to resemble one another, people are now seeking a more versatile solution that is appropriate for a variety of situations. This called for the development of an emergency preparedness kit that includes the bare minimum necessary for a city-dweller to make it to a place of refuge during an earthquake or other disaster. The result is a whistle to alert others of one’s presence, a radio, raincoat, lantern, drinking water and a plastic case, all packaged inside of a 5cm wide tube that is waterproof and floats. The radio is equipped with manual charging functionality, which can also be used to charge your smartphone, lantern, or other devices via USB. The plastic case can be used to store medicine or anything else the user might deem necessary, and the tube in which the drinking water foil pouch is stored can also be used as a cup. Despite its compact design, the kit offers a rich set of features.
Slimmer and more compact than conventional emergency kits, it’s easy to carry and can also be worn over the shoulder using the included strap. The design makes it easy to keep it near the entrance and ready to go at all times – just leave it in the umbrella stand or hang it from a coat hanger. The outer tubing is available in silver, white, or black, and each tool is available in a selection of 3 different colours.
MINIM+AID, by nendo, for SUGITA ACE
Photography by Kenichi Sonehara
The design of No.2 is rational and long-lasting, but more so the new monochromatic solid brushed steel case, domed sapphire glass and Swiss quartz movement construction, marks outmost premium details which are what makes No.2 a successful evolutionary inheritor of No.1. The new addition to the TID collection is also available in two sizes, both the 40 mm and 36 mm. Besides working as a natural part of your everyday life, the watch you wear must be able to match any fraction of your life. That is why No.2 is both minimal and efficient.
TID No.2, by Form Us With Love, for TID
Initiated by the American Hardwood Export Council and Benchmark Furniture, The Wish List brings together a stellar list of architects and designers for a unique collaborative project. The project invited designers and studios to use American hardwood to create an object for an established figure in the architecture and design industry. Zaha Hadid’s brief was simple and open: to create some form of tableware made from wood. So she teamed up with Gareth Neal to craft two sculptural oak vases.
The water carafe idea emerged from considering the liquid nature of Zaha Hadid’s work, but juxtaposing it with a functional element to contain water within. Through using the traditional vessel form as a starting point and subverting its appearance to dramatic extremes, mimicking traditional carving technique Gareth Neal hopes the pieces will embed the design with a sense of the handmade through the arm of a robot, questioning the viewer’s perceptions of craft and the handmade.
The highlight of the family of robust, but delicate pieces is a symbolic bowl, which references the structural achievements made in the construction of the grand amphitheatre, the Colosseum, in the Italian capital.
Colosseum Bowl, by Jaime Hayon, for Paola C
Flue is simple and minimalistic containers, it has three different size and each piece is made of different material. Giving each container a unique character. Use Flue individually as a vase, a container or combining all together to make a sculptural object.
Flue, by Kenyon Yeh
1,2,3 Mirror was part of designers diploma thesis The Past Is Never Dead at the University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt, Germany. Most recently, however, it was exhibited at Tent London during the London Design Festival. The three-part mirror is designed to not only be a reflection of the onlooker, but also an imprint of the time, place and context, demonstrating how context and our self-image are inextricably linked. The three layers are simply leaned against the wall, no nails or mounting required. The first two layers, a light pink layer on top of dark grey glass, provide the reflective surface. The third layer, made from untreated brass, changes with time and touch. It eventually modifies and distorts the reflection, much like our past memories and experiences can distort our present self-image. A simple mirror thus slowly becomes a physical manifestation of the self throughout time.
1,2,3 Mirror, by Matthias Klas and Philipp Schenk-Mischke, Klas Schenk Mischke
Photography by Jan Motyka
Designer Adrian Magu’s interest for everything green and his work in the automotive industry has resulted in the Kasokudo Bonsai Planter; a stunning fusion of form and function. Referencing speed forms and manufacturing processes used in transportation design, this piece juxtaposes movement applied to what is usually a static object. The piece gives the impression of an accelerating form that effortlessly floats to house a bonsai tree, evoking a perfect balance of dynamic harmony. The latest manufacturing processes of the highly polished finishes of the planter and 3D-printed ‘mountains’ contrast to that of nature that usually takes many decades to grow, sculpt and form the gnarled bonsai forms. In all, a unique synthesis of cutting-edge precision with the imperfect beauty of nature.
Kasokudo Bonsai Planter, by Adrian Magu
Photography by Andy Beard
Ruutu, which means diamond or square in Finnish, is a collection of 10 vases available in five sizes and seven colours. When collected and combined, they make small seamless installations where both the strength and the delicate nature of the glass come alive. Like Ittala’s iconic Alvar Aalto collection, Ruutu is also created in Iittala’s Finland factory. However, where the Aalto vase embodies an organic form, Ruutu follows strict form and makes a perfect collectible.
Designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec explain, “Iittala knows very well how to manipulate colours. In Ruutu, we were able to create a delicate, watercolour-like palettes that intermingle with each other when combining sizes and colours. Ruutu allows a game of composition. We wanted to show the sophisticated range of Iittala colours while at the same time handing the job over to the user who will feel tempted to have several modules to create his or her own individual assemblage.”
Ruutu was an inspiring challenge in the Iittala glass factory given the many hours required to create symmetry, yet keep the feel of a handcrafted, unique product. “We were seeking to express the purity of glass blowing in this simple diamond shape,” explain the Bouroullec brothers. “Glass is a material that likes round shapes. When hot it flows like honey and does not like to be pulled into a very precise geometric shape. By developing the strict shape we are reaching the limits of the material, and using the highest level of the Iittala glass-blowing expertise.”
The 11+ World Clock reinterprets the traditional functionality of the clock by creating a unique and playful interaction between the user and the design. Although the face of the World Clock may not seem out of the ordinary, its cylindrical body allows it to display 24 different time zones via a clever rolling mechanism. Independently working hands allow the clock to be quickly rolled back to any of its 24 time zones, while immediately transitioning back to the local time.
11+ World Clock, by Cloudandco
Aura mirror series are developed out of a metaphor of a glowing object. The hemispherical shaped mirrors with a solid aluminium base are electroplated with copper, chrome and nickel coating. This converts the mirrors into a whole reflecting object rather than just a surface. The flat mirror surface in the core of the hemispheres is tilted towards you.
The project is about tactility and sensibility. Aura´s format relates to fit into two open hands. The way the massive and seamless material feels against your skin gives a sense of holding something scarce. The polished surface contrasts to your natural skin and the way the heavy material is pressed into your hands. Other aspects of sensibility Aura touches is when the object is exposed to light. Then the light is reflected differently from the flat mirror surface and the circular body; making you aware of your surrounding and light changes.The thought is to create physical and mental recognition in the moment. Aura mirror series consists of wall and table mirror.
Aura, by Bjørn van den Berg