AXIS Magazine 

AXIS vol. 150 pubished on March 1st


Cover interview:Kaoru Kasai, art director
Kaoru Kasais design expression retains a fresh impression, like the clear flow of a river. His worldview that is often described as “having an open, comfortable atmosphere” is not eccentric, and it is no exaggeration to say it is a standard in design that is only renewed by the intelligence and class of Kasai himself.

Feature: Asian designers who seek success on the world stage
Here we introduce Asian designers competing on a global level, a variety of creators with diverse talents from Asian nations other than Japan, such as China, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore who have made their way onto the world stage. What is it that has inspired them? Although the Japanese are said to be “inward looking,” do the designers and students studying design also have that characteristic? We posed that question to ourselves given these Asian designers who seek success on the world stage.

Traditional Craft Forms: Randoseru (Japanese elementary school rucksack)
Randoseru is a rucksack born in Japan. It originates from a canvas rucksack that was imported from the West with the military system at around the end of the Edo Period. The name randoseru comes from a Dutch word ransel for rucksack. It has been popular as an elementary school rucksack since the 1950s. In recent years, a lightweight type made of artificial leather has become the mainstay of the market, but the traditional hand-sewn genuine leather randoseru is more durable and maintains its form. The secret lies in the quality material and a meticulous manufacturing process.

Topics: From a remote area in the German Alps to the world—The philosophy of Nils Holger Moormann
Low price; a famous designer’s name; ease of purchase thanks to the Internet or multiple outlets…. Although these are considered to be preconditions for selling products today, there’s a furniture maker who is steadily achieving success despite the fact its products do not abide by that formula. Located in the German Alps, the Nils Holger Moormann company has realized a sustainable, ecological management for over 20 years. I visited the company to learn more.

Topics: Helsinki City Development Project for 2030—Towards “Our City,” a city of the future
Ever since the year 2000, sustainability and the improvement of infrastructure have been studied as important elements to daily life and applied proactively in city development projects in Europe. However, the projects now underway around the world are situated in environments of differing political policies and circumstances, even if they are similar in what they advocate. There is a view, however, that the city development projects that Finland’s capital Helsinki establishes every ten years contain an original posture and thinking that are clearly distinct from what’s been happening in the world in recent years. What sort of city is Helsinki posed to become in the year 2030?

I Cling to Virtue — an exhibition by Onkar Kular and Noam Toran that captivates through realistic objects and texts
More and more exhibitions are minimizing the amount of explanatory text accompanying exhibits in order to avoid difficult-to-understand content. But what if this not only hastens alienation from the written word, accelerates the deterioration of reading comprehension and deprives visitors of rich worlds imagined from the text? Onkar Kular and Noam Toran, who are of the latter opinion, are beginning to captivate visitors by using an exhibition method that combines objects and texts.

Other topics:
Hong Kong’s Business of Design Week 2010
The Saint-Etinenne International Design Biennial
Valse Automatique—Forms born of a violinists music
The Dube Tradeport Project—A gateway to the continent of Africa

Other series:
The Prototype Nikon “Birth of the Vision”
Blinking Memory “Expressing inspiration through flip-book animations”
Opinion Mika Takagi, Deputy Director, Creative Industries Promotion Office, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Japan 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