It’s official, yesterday marked the release of Tokyo Fun Party‘s first two albums on its music label, Digiki’s BEAT VACATION and Chimidoro’s MINNA NO UTA. The albums will be available in most stores — they even got a stand at Tower Records — and you can also purchase them online pretty much everywhere (all ordering details, which include album trailers: BEAT VACATION and MINNA NO UTA). Also, to celebrate the launch, TFP is holding a big all-night bash this coming Sunday (April 29, 23:00-5:00) at Hijouguchi in Shinjuku (entry 1500 yen, includes a drink). Get all the details on the event here, and go to show your support!
In celebrating its 10th anniversary, online Japanese design magazine SHIFT has finally gone completely blog (they started the experiment a few months ago) — it still keeps a magazine structure though — but more importantly, got rid of their popular “Girls on the Street” series. Momus laments the loss.
- You could pick up the new issue of IDEA (322) for the works of Otl Aicher or Osaka-based Helmut Schmid, but what made me pick up a copy — I don’t usually buy IDEA because of the high 3000 yen cover price — is their “Journal Culture” feature. It’s terrific coverage of the magazine scene, from the huge showcase of issues from William Drenttel‘s collection — see plenty of layouts here — to various media people commenting on their favorite/influential titles. As always, IDEA is completely bilingual (Japanese/English), so magazine addicts the world over will probably want to give this issue a look.
- MAC POWER (209) undergoes a cover renewal with a new white look instead of the usual gray (I don’t know if it’s a permanent change, or just for this issue). The main feature, a good one, profiles 50 international photographers. There’s also a piece that takes an extensive look at Klein Dytham architecture‘s beautiful new office for TBWA/HAKUHODO.
- OK FRED (9) is back, with their tribute to “The Mamas and the Papas” (meaning parents, not the group). My “Sekai no Omiseyasan” column returns, with a couple of Nakameguro spots.
- The new issue of ART iT (15) takes a closer look at the Asian-Pacific component of the upcoming Venice Biennale.
Update: MagCulture’s Jeremy Leslie shares some more details regarding the IDEA “Journal Culture” feature.
About a month ago I linked to a piece from BusinessWeek looking at micro-homes. As a follow-up, David Cady — that’s Mr. Canned Coffee to you and me — sent me the photo you see here, with some details:
If you view the slideshow in the link, one of the pictures (8th frame) is of a small glass structure that looks an awful lot like the one in the (cell phone) photo I’ve attached below. It is tucked in a back street behind the Yaesu Book Center near Tokyo Station, and appears to be a design-related office. I always marvel at it when I walk by and wish I had a workspace like it. It’s such an efficient use of space, built above a parking lot. I bet the rent is a pittance.
The blurb on the slideshow says: “Sensing an opportunity, a factory automation company called SUS launched a new business offering cube-like aluminum frames called “tsubomi” that can be arranged into stand-alone homes or used as attachments to existing abodes. A 27 cu.m. (952 cu. ft.) attachment costs $17,000, and can be assembled in a single day.” I’m pretty sure the photo shows one of these “tsubomi.”