AXIS Magazine 

AXIS vol.145 / June 2010



Cover Interview: Masaaki Hiromura, Graphic Designer
Masaaki Hiromura is active in a truly broad range of design, including commercials, posters, package design, CI, branding, signage for buildings, and interface design for industrial products. He has also written JI-BORN A Book of Letters and Characters that explored the nature of letters and characters. We talked with Mr. Hiromura who at present has approximately thirty projects underway.


Feature: Breakthroughs in product design
We present a number of examples that may very well become breakthroughs in product design that tear down the status quo and open up paths to the future. Not merely innovations, these are actual breaches into the future of concepts, technology, materials, and entirely new fields of product design.


Traditional Craft Froms: Kabuki Wigs
Wigs are an indispensable and important element for expressing roles on the glamorous stage of the Kabuki Theater. Each wig is specially tailored for the role and actor, and its form is made by a wig artisan (katsurashi) and final styling is done by a hair styler called a tokoyama. The work is conducted at a hectic pace while being pressed by a performance schedule that includes tours throughout Japan. These artisans are supporting the actors’ expressions that may be affected by a single strand of hair.


Opinion: Arthur Binard, poet
Arthur Binard came to Japan 20 years ago. As a poet writing in both English and Japanese, he has made numerous literary contributions to the world. His extensive activity does not end with poetry but also includes essays, picture books, English translations, Japanese translations, and regular appearances on radio and television. Mr. Binard’s humorous, resourceful, and at times scathing words suggest that issues we Japanese have forgotten or willfully ignore should be brought out in the open. We visited Mr. Binard just after he had appeared on a radio program at Nippon Cultural Broadcasting (Bunka Hoso) in Tokyo.


Topics: Visual communication through images by WOW
WOW is a visual design studio that’s attracting attention with its progressive installation work in and outside Japan. From development of interfaces to space composition, it continues to put out work that expands the possibility of images for communication. I talked to its creative director Kosuke Oho and art director Mamoru Kano.


Topics: Icelandic design today
With Scandinavian design firmly established as a global “brand,” Iceland is making its presence felt as one of the players on the world design map. How has the situation changed for Iceland’s creative set after the island’s economic collapse in 2008? We look into the nation’s state of design through an event called DesignMarch held from March 17 to 21.

The concept of Sony Monolithic Design
The evolving design of the racing car–The Chicago Auto Show 2010
Design Indaba 2010 South Africa
The WORLD Space Creators Awards 2010 etc.

James Dyson on “Materials”
A wealth of books and reading “Naoto Fuksawa etc.”
The Civil Engineering of Ethics “Forced symbiosis”
Gentle Cultivations of Life “Squares of knowledge” etc.

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AXIS magazine archives
designers on AXIS cover

Designers on AXIS cover 9 Richard Hutten

The Prototype Archive

The Prototype Archive 9 Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo  Display of Sunlight through the Leaves (2006 -)

The book review leads to creation

The book review leads to creation 11 Arte come mestiere (Design as Art) / A book review by designer Naoto Fukasawa