99+1 Japan

99+1 Japan is a beautiful new guide produced by the Japan National Tourism Organization that takes the form of a website and book (which is also available as a downloadable PDF). The focus here is on art, design, and architecture, and from the browsing I did on the website, the choices are, well, quite choice. I know that my buddy Said Karlsson participated in this, with some of his wonderful photography adorning a few entries. Here’s also a Spoon & Tamago post with more details.

PauseTalk Vol. 50

Let me start by thanking everyone who came to last week’s 50th edition of PauseTalk. For the most part it was run as usual — except for me taking more time at the start to talk about how it all started, and how it developed — but it had a great vibe, a great turnout, and I think those who attended had a great time. As I mentioned, I prepared a commemorative badge for the event, which was limited to 15 and handed out to the first people who arrived, as well as a little booklet, which you can download as a PDF.

Also, big thanks to photographer Michael Holmes for another nice gallery of photos he shared on Facebook (of which the one of me at the top of this post). And speaking of Facebook, please note that the original Facebook group is disapearing (because of a new Facebook policy), and so instead I invite you to join (or “like”) the new PauseTalk page to keep receiving the monthly event reminders.

Below, the list of participants who filled out the attendance sheet. PauseTalk Vol. 51 is set for June 6.

Tomorrow’s PauseTalk Vol. 50

So tomorrow (Monday, May 9) will mark the 50th edition of PauseTalk, and to commemorate the event I’ve decided to prepare a few things, both pictured below. First up is a little booklet I quickly put together that talks about how PauseTalk started, what it’s about, and gives thanks to every single person (well, at least the ones who filled out the attendance sheet) who has attended at least one PauseTalk (277). I’m going to print out and staple a few copies for the event, but I invite everyone to download the PDF version.

I’ve also made a few badges for the event, using the “PauseTalk 50” logo, but these are very limited (only 15), and I will hand them out to the first people who arrive.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve attended one before or if this would be your first one, come join us tomorrow for a bit of talking. It all happens at Cafe Pause in Ikebukuro with an official start time of 20:00, although I’ll be there from around 19:30.

Tokyo Blues

Color me jealous: former Tokyo resident Adam Greenfield — and current head of design direction at Nokia in Finland — is one of the people behind the newly-launched Do Projects, which has the following goals:

Develop words and images that make the people who encounter them re-see themselves and the world around them; find the most appropriate containers for our ideas; craft the kind of books that please their readers in the details of their conception, design and construction as much as in the things they say; and figure out what “do-it-yourself” might mean in an age when new production technologies, informational and logistical networks give the independent amateur producer unprecedented power to reach out and make things happen.

Such a great idea. The first project is called Tokyo Blues, a photo book of Nurri Kim‘s investigations of Tokyo’s PVC plastic construction tarps. It’s available both in print, or as a free downloadable PDF.