The Designart Journey Through

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Cubes Magazine

The Designart Journey Through Tokyo

Tokyo’s Designart festival showcased site-specific works and events across the city, inviting participants and guests to see both design and their city in a new light.

  • Sou Fujimoto at Canada Goose. Photo ©Nacása & Partners

  • Focus by Yuki Okitsu. Photo ©Nacása & Partners

  • Claesson Koivisto Rune at Time Style. Photo ©Nacása & Partners

  • Happier Cafe by Johnny Chiu at B&B Italia Tokyo. Photo ©Nacása & Partners

  • Happier Cafe by Johnny Chiu at B&B Italia Tokyo. Photo ©Nacása & Partners

  • Hiroto Yoshizoe at B&B Italia Tokyo. Photo ©Nacása & Partners

  • Swedish Design Moves Showcase. Photo ©Nacása-Partners

  • Swedish Design Moves Showcase. Photo ©Nacása-Partners

  • Google Pixel at Designart Tokyo 2018. Photo ©Nacása & Partners

  • FrancFranc Forest. Photo ©Nacása & Partners

  • Designart Tokyo launch party. Photo ©Nacása & Partners

BY Joanna Kawecki

October 30th, 2018

Tokyo’s new Design Week came in the form of a contemporary merging of both design and art this year, as Designart Tokyo. Now in its second year, the event aims to fill the Design Week void and further connect Tokyo’s design community and participants with industry players on a global scale.

Designart Tokyo was founded by a diverse group of six renowned Tokyo creatives, including Akio Aoki of Miru Design and Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham Architecture. The group’s diversity and integration into Tokyo’s design community ensures a genuine and broad overview of design. Designart Tokyo 2018, which ran from 19 to 29 October, showcased stellar, contemporary design works and collaborations.

Designart Tokyo launch Party. Photo ©Nacása & Partners

Sprawled across the entire city, various locations hosted Designart’s diverse installations, exhibitions, product launches and events. They all followed this year’s theme of ‘Into The Emotions’. Intentionally held simultaneously with Tokyo Fashion Week, Designart Tokyo is a reflection of the merging industries and their influence on each other.

This year, for example, renowned architect Sou Fujimoto collaborated with Canada Goose to produce an installation displaying down feathers (usually found inside garments) in a conceptual 3D floating grid arrangement at the brand’s flagship store.

Sou Fujimoto at Canada Goose. Photo ©Nacása & Partners

At the Designart Gallery space, Tokyo designer and artist Noritaka Tatehana presented his homewares collection titled Ghost, where his work in traditional Japanese craftsmanship techniques such as woodblock prints can be found adorning pillows and a lounge cover.

Ghost by Noritaka Tatehana. Photo ©Nacása & Partners

Emerging designer Ryuichi Kozeki also presented his minimalist, award-winning lighting series.

Oculus by Ryuichi Kozeki. Photo ©Nacása & Partners

Alongside products and furniture, there were large-scale presentations that initiated new conversations about the future of the city. In the Avex Headquarters Building in Aoyama, a site-specific installation by architect Yuko Nagayama and artist Akira Fujimoto addressed the future post-2020 Olympics and ParaOlympics and their potential influence on the urban context.

2021Tokyo Scope by Akira Fujimoto and Yuko Nagayama. Photo ©OMOTE-Nobutada

One integral highlight to the week that further connected the local community was a day-long conference titled Bridge that focussed on themes of craftsmanship, technology, art, work, clothing and living.

Featuring global speakers leading in their field – including a diverse panel incorporating British designer Bethan Laura Wood and Tokyo-based fashion designer ANREALAGE – the insightful symposium sparked new conversations in design.

Minä Perhonen’s Akira Minagawa and ElleDecor’s Ryuko Kido explored the importance of craftsmanship in design, and Majorca-based architects Jaime Oliver and Paloma Hernaiz of architecture firm OHLAB who spoke with Cibone and Dean & Deluca’s Masaki Yokokawa on the future of living spaces.