Design Web


PingMag has an interview up with Makoto Kinoshita, creator of a open-source web browser for the Mac called Shiira. Reading this definitely made me want to try it out, and so I’ve just downloaded it.

Gridskipper Stores

This Week at Gridskipper

You can read all of my Gridskipper posts here.

Fashion Stores

The Latest at Muji

While at a Muji store earlier today, I noticed a new collection of bags they’ve grouped under a line called “World Muji Bag.” I’m especially fond of their new butterfly series, that includes a larger carry-on, a boston, and a smaller shoulder version. Me wants.

And regarding the “Muji Labo” brand I mentioned seeing at the Muji Yurakucho store the other day, here’s some more info (in Japanese) on the new line. From what I can tell, it’s just a line for them to explore some different styles (designs) and garments, and doesn’t have to conform to the regular Muji clothing lines.


Ergo Proxy

Cool new anime alert: ERGO PROXY. I watched the first episode today (it airs on pay-channel WOWOW, but I got a fansub version) and I’m definitely impressed. Very slick animation with some nice character designs add up to something that’s certainly easy on the eyes. As far as the storyline, as with most anime series, you can’t really tell where things are going to head from the first episode alone, but the setting takes its cue from GITS/BLADE RUNNER, with a society where Autoraves (think androids/replicants) are everywhere, and some weirdness involving them starts taking place. The first episode ends with an intriguing cliffhanger, and I’m already curious as to where they’re going with this. Oh, and the theme song, which will only appear starting episode 2, is Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android”.

I haven’t mentioned anime much recently, but that’s also because I haven’t been keeping up like I used to (or maybe there’s just nothing out there that interests me). I did watch all of PARADISE KISS, which I quite liked, and I was so happy to finally see the end of MONSTER last week. After a long wait, the fansub versions of the last six episodes were finally released, and I watched all of them pretty much in one go — it was a terrific ending to a terrific series, and I can honestly say that I doubt anything will ever surpass it (for me at least). I did watch the first few episodes of HELL GIRL and MUSHISHI, but never followed up mostly because of lack of time.

Design Magazines

The Return of Atmosphere

The GAS blog is reporting that they’re currently working on a new issue of ATMOSPHERE (the fourth, after issues #0, 1, and 2)! Great news!



Happy V-Day, with hugs and kisses (image found here)! I got some Anpanman chocolates today!

Update (16/09/10): The image is no longer available.

Architecture Stores TB.Grafico



The Chanel store in Ginza.

Tokyo Walking

An Afternoon in Ginza

As I moblogged earlier today, I was in Shibuya to meet up with PingMag‘s Uleshka to talk about writing for them. I had a chance to visit the IMG SRC and PingMag offices, and I’m pretty happy about getting to work with them (since I’m such a big fan of the site). After that, it was off to Ginza for my monthly gallery tour. I started out with the Ginza Graphic Gallery for the Nagi Noda “Hanpanda” show. Pakuri or not, she’s at least a great remixer, and knows how to put out a beautiful product. I did find quite unfortunate the way they had set up the video displays though — enclosed in a walled area — as it made it difficult to see properly because everyone was crowded in the space, and blocking off people who had to stand directly behind them. I can’t see why they didn’t just put the displays along one wall, which would have given more standing room. It was probably the most crowded I’ve seen the GGG, and every one there was pretty much identical: twentysomething girls with similar fashion sense. I guess Noda has a very specific fanbase.

Then, I was on my way to Creation Gallery G8, where I spent quite a bit of time for the 84th New York Art Director’s Club show (I guess that in a year’s time we’ll get to see some of Craig’s selections). It’s a great exhibition, with some very nice prints throughout, and I spent about an hour watching the entire video reel, which included TV commercials, as well as movie title sequences. Very nice.

Heading back in the general direction of Matsuya, I stopped at the Sony Building to check out some PSP games in the soon-to-close PlayStation area (on the 6th floor). The POWER SMASH tennis game by Sega was lots of fun, but I had a hell of a time trying to play the PSP version of KATAMARI DAMACY. I think the digital pad on the PSP I was using wasn’t working properly (it looked like it was in pretty bad shape) as I couldn’t really push my ball straight, and so quickly gave up. The graphics look amazingly sharp though, and the music is the same as on the PS2 version. I then took the back streets behind the Sony Building to have a look at the recently opened (a couple of months ago I think) Shanghai Tang store. I’m a sucker for chinoiserie, and love visiting the Shanghai Tang stores when I’m in Hong Kong. A bit pricey, sure, but they do have some nice stuff.

Later on, at the Matsuya Design Gallery, there was an interesting exhibition covering temporary displays that cover construction sites — think the Klein Dytham green wall for Omotesando Hills or what Kenya Hara did when Matsuya was undergoing its renewal a few years back. One wall is dedicated to comparing the scale of various projects, and then the other wall lets you peak inside small holes to view some nice motion-graphic videos of various projects, followed by interviews (in Japanese) with their creators. I took a few pictures, which I’ll post later on Flickr.

I finished up with a stop at Muji Yurakucho (of course), where I noticed a new line of clothing they’ve launched called “Muji Labo.” I haven’t seen this yet at the other Muji stores.


This Week in Magazines

  • The latest issue of BRUTUS (587) has a feature that tells us to “Be Cool, Be Healthy,” but sports an unfortunate image of President Bush on its cover (lifting weights no less). The piece inside covers health by profiling various celebrities and their health-related activities.
  • PEN (169) takes a look at ecology, or more specifically the “new attitude of ecology,” pointing new and innovative ways that the green movement is being pushed around the world.
  • This month’s RELAX (109) covers jewelry and accessories, a topic I have next to no interest in, and therein lies the occasional problem with lifestyle magazines that devote every month’s issue to a specific theme: you run into issues like this where there’s just nothing you want to read inside.
  • +81 (31) takes a break from design to focus on photography, with their “Photography Issue 3.” Lots of pretty imagery within, and includes interviews with some top photographers (and yes, Araki gets a piece).
  • CASA BRUTUS (72) devotes its latest issue to all things utsuwa (ceramic bowls and the like), something that BRUTUS also did just a few months ago.
  • The latest PAPER SKY (16) takes us on a “Shimane Time Trip.” I was quite taken by the photo gallery of Chinese factories and workers.
  • This month’s TITLE (72) spotlights popular commercial actresses, or as they refer to them, “Commercial Beauties 2006.” Plenty of full-page photos of beautiful girls, faces you’ll probably recognize from countless TV CMs, and the issue comes with a DVD full of said commercials.
  • STUDIO VOICE (363) puts forth 150 novels which they deem to be interesting (classified in various categories), and then follow that up with a “Young People’s Guide to Critical Books!”
  • This month’s ESQUIRE (Vol. 20, No. 3) also covers books, this time pointing out 230 beautiful tomes. They also include guides to book hunting in various cities, spotlighting some great looking bookstores.



At the PingMag office with Uleshka. I’ll be writing for them in the near future.