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Cover interview Oki Sato, nendo
Works by nendo are attracting more attention than ever both in Japan and overseas. nendo is involved in over 200 projects at any given time, and its head Oki Sato travels around the world at a pace equivalent to one complete circumference around the globe each month. The way they freely whirl through diverse genres while managing to avoid settling on a fixed style or proclaiming their representative works calls to mind an image of designers who set themselves apart from conventional designers through a command of flexible conceptions.

Feature The design manifestos of up-and-coming interior manufacturers
In the interior goods industry where long-established manufacturers continue to assert their presence, there are increasing attempts to launch new brands with unprecedented ideas and concepts to create innovation. In addition to the venture spirit that is apt for emerging manufacturers, various proposals that consider furniture not simply as “objects” but also as “lifestyle products” that help form our daily living stimulate an industry once thought to have reached maturity and promote new demand. In this feature we look into clues for opening up new opportunities from the strategies of up-and-coming interior manufacturers, in an industry where technical improvements in design, materials, and existing products seem to have reached a standstill.

Traditional Craft Forms Onigawara
A demonic countenance is just a scary face, but the gargoyle-face roof tile onigawara isn’t just scary. It is imparted with a certain personality within its heroic demeanor, and its expression changes depending on from which angle you view it. Onigawara is a type of ornamental tile that is used at both ends of the ridge of traditional tiled roofs in Japanese architecture. The ferocious gargoyle-face motif is the representative type, but some employ clouds, waves, or animal and plant motifs, and their size and patterns vary widely. We visited a studio that produces handmade onigawara in Sanshu, where approximately 60% of all roof tiles is made in Japan.

Opinion Masanori Aoyagi, Director-General of The National Museum of Western Art, and founder of the Society for a Design Museum Japan
The Society for a Design Museum Japan was founded in September 2012 by designer Issey Miyake and Director-General of The National Museum of Western Art, Masanori Aoyagi. They started activity to communicate the importance of design in Japan, and build momentum toward establishing a national design museum. Although many individuals and organizations have long been appealing to the necessity of a design museum, this activity aims to ensure the future creativity of Japan in the name of a “national” design museum. We visited Mr. Masanori Aoyagi at the National Museum of Western Art.

Topics Bugaboo—The creation of new experience and values in mobility
There’s a certain brand that has leveraged outstanding stability and high performance to realize and maintain innovation in the field of baby strollers, an area where the prospects for such developments had been considered unlikely. It is the Dutch brand and mobility company Bugaboo. Launched in 1996 with only two members, Bugaboo has approximately 1,000 employees today, and is developing products in over 50 countries around the world.

Topics World Design Capital Helsinki 2012─An opportunity to change the world through service design
For a period of one year, Helsinki bore the title of World Design Capital (WDC). On the theme “Open Helsinki: Embedding Design in Life,” many of Helsinki’s WDC events and projects attempted to improve service in public institutions and educational venues in a bid to change various systems and structures in society through the power of design. We visited Helsinki, which just released its final report in March, 2013, to look into the results of its activities.

Topics MIT Media Lab—Two groups seek to fuse artificial objects and living things
MIT Media Lab’s research content isn’t necessarily fixed. As a matter of fact, it’s always changing in response to the demands of society and emerging technologies. Here we introduce two research groups recently added to Media Lab in this continually evolving environment.

Other topics
Hyundai Mybaby Project
The Design Ambassador Project―An interview with Brandon Gien
Collective Dialogue―Turning a “question” about waste into “form” etc.

Other series
The Prototype Sony Computer Science Laboratories + Lego “Brick Alive”
Masaaki Hiromuras Junglin  “Luxury goods and social order”
Life in Tokyo with civil engineering “Cherry-blossom viewing and the samurai spirit” etc.

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