AXIS Latest Issue 

AXIS vol.172 in store now!

14.11.04

Cover interview  Alberto Meda, Product designer
Alberto Meda is a master designer in the world of Italian design who continues to create new contemporary beauty thanks to an advanced understanding of structure grounded in logic and production processes regarding materials. Meda's design is frequently placed in the lineage of Eames and Jean Prouvé, and is the result of his superb talent. The fact he still directs considerable enthusiasm to creative work as he nears his 70th year is a quality he shares with the great designers of the last century.

Feature Transforming Japan into a “tourism oriented country” through design
Tourism is regarded as a major economic resource for Japan today. According to the Japan Tourism Agency's “2014 Action Program toward the Realization of Japan as a Tourism-Oriented Country,” Japan is aiming to attract 20 million foreign tourists in the year 2020. This is compared to the 10,360,000 tourists who visited the country in 2012. As this goal exists on an entirely different level compared with targets to date, achieving it will require a broader initiative on an unprecedented scale that transcends the framework of the existing tourism industry. We believe this must involve design to a great degree. What do you think?

Traditional Craft Forms Soroban
The place of origin of the soroban (Japanese abacus) is ambiguous and said to be either the Aztec Empire, Babylonia, or China, but it was brought to Japan from China around the 15th century. It was developed into today’s form after the Edo Period. In Japan, the layout of the beads on the upper and lower deck has been changed, the frame has been made smaller, and the beads have been changed from the Chinese round form to a diamond form in which two conic forms are combined back to back so it's easier to flick with the finger. Recently, this Japanese-style abacus has been gaining attention worldwide and is also been re-appreciated domestically. How is this soroban made? We visited the town of Okuizumo in Shimane Prefecture, which is the home of the Unshu soroban.

Opinion Akihiro Nagaya,Chief General Manager, Design Center, Yamaha Motor
Akihiro Nagaya was a major designer for Toyota Motor Corporation for thirty years, creating the design of the Lexus and building Lexus brand image. The news in the beginning of 2014 that he was moving to Yamaha Motor came as a surprise to the automobile industry. We talked with Nagaya, who was officially appointed Chief General Manager of Design Center in July, about the future of Yamaha design.

New series Lovable Continuous Design Hisakazu Shimizu×Shiseido “White Rose Natural”
ontinuous Design is an original method put forth by Hisakazu Shimizu. Controlling 3D software as if molding clay makes possible a speedy, continuous design without the need to change tools. In this series, we examine examples where S&O DESIGN and companies representing various fields work together in taking up the challenge of design development that transcends existing frameworks to unveil original concept models.

Topics Clothes as a landscape and photographs as crystals—A dialog between Akira Minagawa and Yoshihiko Ueda
minä perhonen will see its 20th anniversary in 2015. In its 2014-15 fall-winter season book titled Monkicho published to commemorate the milestone, photographer Yoshihiko Ueda was hired to present a world where various times overlap on the theme “crystallization.”

Topics Eero Aarnio and Erik Bruun—The entrepreneurial spirit as seen in the Finnish master designers
Modernism, mid-century modernism, retro, vintage…. Besides being themes of museum exhibitions, these are key words concerning contemporary design trends. In addition to appearing fresh to young people, do they contain a dormant appeal that cannot be written off as nostalgia? I talked with two master Finish designers in order to unravel that mystery.

Topics An attempt to inspire co-creation focusing on music—Red Bull Music Academy Tokyo 2014

An innovative music festival touring the cities of the world arrived in Tokyo for the first time this fall. Red Bull Music Academy Tokyo 2014 is being held from October 12 to November 14. The views of three key individuals provide a glimpse into the influence this initiative will have on the city.

Topics Toyo Kitchen Style toward 100 years—An interview with Takao Watanabe, President of Toyo Kitchen Style (Part 2 of 2)

As a corporation that proposes “styles” rich in individuality, Toyo kitchen Style made a new start under a new company name. What is their concept for the future as a company that has persistently beenintroducing unique designs never seen anywhere else? Continued from Part 1 in the last issue, We talked with the company's President Takao Watanabe.

Other topics
The 9th Promise for the Future: All Star Design Showcase

Other series
The Prototype Honda “Micro power generator”
Blinking Memory “Suzuki Yasuhiro’s Mitate Laboratory” By Yasuhiro Suzuki
Masaaki Hiromura's Junglin  “Enticing order” etc.

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