It’s with a lot of sadness that I post this, on the final day of 2008. As has just been posted on PingMag, our dear web magazine is done, or as officially stated, placed on “extended hiatus” — the site’s archives will remain online. Yes, the closure comes as a result of this “global economic crisis” that seems to really be screwing up a lot of good things these days. And yes, this means I lose my post as editor, and as of now I’m back on the hunt for work.

Yeah, it’s a pretty shitty way to end the year, especially since I really enjoyed working there — for those four short weeks — and I certainly feel like it’s unfair that things had to happen like this.

But I’ve had time to get over it, and I’m truly looking forward to an exciting 2009. Happy New Year, everyone!

Art Events

The Year in Art 2008


Ashley Rawlings offers part one of his review of the year in art for 2008 over at TABlog. Part two will follow in early January.

Cycling Photography TB.Grafico

Bianchi Fretta-T BD-1


I’ve talked about my new bike, but today I realized that I hadn’t showed it yet, so here she is. It’s an older bike — a 2005 model of the Bianchi Fretta-T BD-1 — which I purchased from my friend Craig. I have been absolutely loving the ride I’m getting from it, and don’t particular like when I ride my old Muji bike (for running errands). I couldn’t recommend it enough, and wouldn’t be against buying a similar model again, but new (note that the body has now changed though, more curvy).

In passing, the photo above was taken with my iPhone using a great little app called Toy Camera, which randomly puts an effect on your photos, making them look like they were taken with a Lomo/Holga-style toy camera. The only beef I have with it is that the effects are always random, whereas I’d like to be able to select the type of effect. I also bought an app called Camerabag that does a similar thing, but also lets you select the filter. The only thing is that I prefer most of the effects that you get with Toy Camera.

Art Events



Shimurabros — composed of siblings Yuko and Kentaro Shimura — have produced some interesting works that mix various mediums, resulting in some arresting installations. You can see a few of their projects on their website, and you can catch their hibernation-themed work at the “Artlink in Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse” event, which runs until February 15.


Jun Aoki’s 2008 Projects


Designboom covers three Tokyo projects by architect Jun Aoki that were completed in 2008, including the Sia Aoyama Building (above), the Taro Nasu gallery space, and the Go-Sees Hiroo photo studios.

Cycling Toys

Pedal ID


Can’t afford a real track bike? Go for the Pedal ID Basic Set instead, a customizable mini version which you can then upgrade with various accessories (tires, chains, saddles, cranks, etc.) Better than Barbie! Via Craig.


Hair Salon by Isolation Unit


Dezeen covers a new hair salon in Osaka for the LIM chain, designed by Isolation Unit’s Teruhiro Yanagihara. Certainly not what you’d expect from a hair salon, with heavy use of concrete and a very clean layout.


Accent Tonique Update


If there’s one constant when I check out design-related events, it’s that I know I’ll bump into Loic de Tonge, of Tokyo-based interior design office Accent Tonique. He’s had quite the busy year, having had a hand in plenty of new spaces, which you’ll find listed on their website.

Pictured above, the Zusso Kids Cafe at the Hankyu department store in Nishinomiya, Hyogo.




Appliya is a new Japanese publisher of iPhone and iPod Touch apps, with a very friendly bilingual site that helps guide through what they’re all about. Strangely enough, one of their upcoming apps, Katana, has been held up in the Apple approval process for about two months — too bad, it looks like it could be lots of fun.

Design MoCo Loco

This Week at MoCo Loco


After a bit of a hiatus, I’m back at MoCo Loco with a new “This Week from Tokyo” post. I cover Nendo’s Aromamora bottle design, Yamasaki Design Works‘ Triangle Clip, and Yuento’s Wacca Aroma Diffuser.