AXIS Magazine 

AXIS vol.186 in store now!


Cover interview
Gen Terao (CEO of Balmuda)
Balmuda has released a product called “Green Fan” that is an attempt at reproducing natural wind, “Balmuda The Toaster,” which seeks to realize the aroma of freshly baked bread, and, most recently in January this year, a double-layered rice cooker called “Balmuda The Gohan” that is the third in the “Hello Kitchen!” series. Since its establishment in 2003, Balmuda’s products born of a free conception unbound by stereotypes have brought a breath of fresh air into the home appliance industry Balmuda’s CEO Gen Terao is very particular about the spirit of innovation. It seems Balmuda’s policy in developing products has changed little by little during the course of its 14-year history. Here is a look into Terao’s true intentions.

The power to connect.
Business, technology, and the creative fields have been considered to be different domains so far. This notion, however, is about to change drastically due to the fact design thinking is permeating the management tiers of business and organizations, and tech-related startups in which designers are listed among their founders are emerging.
At venues for the development of creative products and services, the mutual effect of these three domains is already indispensable in the upstreams of the development processes, and there is a rising demand for skills that support interaction among these fields as well as for human resources that have the ability to link them together.
Design is said to possess the power to connect people, and the power to connect different domains and visualize visions and concepts performs an important role in design. It will be the activity of players who possess the power to guide creativity and can integrate the three domains of business, technology, and the creative fields that will accelerate innovation further.

Philipp Klais, Managing director of the pipe organ workshop Johannes Klais Orgelbau
Johannes Klais Orgelbau in Bonn, Germany, has been making pipe organs that resonate majestically throughout cathedrals and concert halls for 135 years. Its 4th generation managing director Philipp Klais carries on the tradition, but at the same time is also an innovative and global pipe organ player. We visited Klais at the Elbphilharmonie where his latest work has been completed and installed, and asked him about creating sounds that have moved people over many centuries.

From the gimmicky to the social Trends in Dutch design and the appeal of Eindhoven
Speaking of Dutch design, not a few people think of gimmicky, abstract, and experimental products. That’s because the impact of Droog design that appeared in the ‘90s was so strong. When we visited Dutch Design Week in the fall of 2016, we saw a big shift in direction, and the town of Eindhoven has also revived its vigor.

The new navigation system in Toyota Prius PHV
Car navigation systems so far have predominantly employed horizontally long screens. This situation may change drastically due to the new navigation system used in Prius PHV that adopted a vertical long display for the first time in Toyota cars. Being conscious of the smartphone GUI that everybody is familiar with, the designer aimed for operability that exceeds that of the smartphone.

The placebo effect born of postmodern architecture ― Maggie’s Centre
When you hear the word Maggie’s, you’ll think of the network of cancer care centers that have existed across the UK for the past twenty years, and are distinguished by their architecture. Each of the facilities, designed by well-known architects—such as Rem Koolhaas, Richard Rogers, Frank Gehry, and the late Zaha Hadid—are unique, and differ greatly from the image of the conventional sterile hospital. The origin of this lies in the founder of Maggie’s Centre Charles Jencks who has helped to spread postmodern architecture throughout the world.

Other topics
AXIS Fonts has evolved — The Round Series, part 2

Other series
Final installment The Prototype Daikin Industries “Lotus Leaf”
Final installment Doing Industry – academia collaborations right The Graduate School of Digital Hollywood University & Isetan Mitsukoshi
from the World Cologne/ Hong Kong
Creators’ work and soul Ryosuke Fukusada/ Aki Soeda etc.

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