Shibaya Designs napkin rings for candlelight dinners.
Yakitate!, means "freshly-baked" in Japanese and a special exhibit of what young designers are cooking up was on display at the Dwell on Design event last weekend with an international accent. Selected by Birgit Lohmann of Designboom, the innovative wares included the reuse of beautiful vintage kimonos to cover objects, exquisite moon-like globes commemorating the Japanese tsunami, and innovative furniture by Japanese as well as Spanish designers at the Bravos! exhibition.
Textile designer Wakako Kita demonstrates her origami-inspired foldable bag collection. Photos by R.Cruger
WACCO Design works with traditional crafts and local industries to create her line of Oriori bags. Stitched to fold naturally into thin strips, in an accordion-style, for convenient storage they open wide. Another version tucks flat into a handle pocket and another was crafted with hand-washable washi paper dyed with persimmons.
Yasumasa Shiba of Shibaya comes from a family of stone cutters and carves stone lanterns from natural rocks. His wife Junko uses the inside section for candle holders and little stone plates, so that no part of the stone goes unused. From Shizuoka, Japan, his family's crest is the butterfly which he adorns each lantern in wood, for a modern take on an ancient tradition. Also, finger rings and napkin rings offer environmentally messages.
Other contemporary Japanese designs included light fixtures by Kazuhiro Yamanaka of London, furniture by Takeshi Miyakawa of Brooklyn and Atelier Sango which did a claymation demonstration. Kouichi Okamoto designed honeycomb paper lamps which can also be hung upside down as fanciful pendants and efficiently packed flat.
Spanish design also was highlighted at Dwell on Design with the Bravos! exhibition of groundbreaking European design from 21 talents hailing from the Spanish Design Boom in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. Works by Patricia Urquiola, Jaime Hayón, Nacho Carbonell and Martin Azua and others were curated by Juli Capella for American University Museum in Washington, DC where it was shown.
The Key bike stand by Lagranja Design features simple, dynamic lines.
Among the intriguing designs, there was a combination chair/coat rack, fun furniture covered in movable Tyvek by Diego Ramos and Luis Eslava, and Ernest Perera's flat-pack dish rack that folds open and closed for small spaces. A prototype of "Florero Chapapote" (Tar Vase) created by Barcelona's Curro Claret, was formed from oil spilled by the sunken tanker Prestige, off the Galicia coast in 2002.
Tar Vase by Barcelona-based Curro Claret made of oil spilled from a sunken tanker.
Meanwhile American Brenden Ravenhill, whose products were on sale at the Remodelista locally grown pop-up shop, was on a panel discussing his bottle opener simply made with a hunk of wood and a nail and his Cord Lamp assembled from standard components. "I don't consider myself a 'sustainable' designer. Why do we need compostable chairs? I want to make objects that will last."