Oki Sato's Japanese studio Nendo is among those institutions that never cease to surprise and inspire us through their ever-evolving design vision and truly perfected holistic approach in their practice. The day before yesterday, to our great excitement, the studio succeeded to outstrip itself once again, presenting its biggest-ever project: the exterior and interior renovation of a department store in Bangkok that Sato believes represents a new way of shopping. Going by the name of Siam Discovery, the department store is operated by Thai retail and development company Siam Piwat, which invited Nendo to oversee the refurbishment of the interior and exterior of the 40.000 m² shopping mall on Bangkok's Rama 1 thoroughfare. The studio was tasked with implementing a radical vision for a new retail experience built around curated environments rather than the familiar branded concessions. Instead of categorizing products by brand, as is typical in traditional department stores, the different retail points present customers with a range of lifestyle experiences, including a digital lab, street lab, creative lab and play lab. The result is very likely the first real peek into the future of (department / multibrand) retail in which a physical location will need to have this level of experience to not totally loose its relevance as has become the trend in the last decade. We would literally fly to Bangkok just to see this with our own eyes. [ Continue reading ]
We are back in the new year and start it off with a name we have been closely following for years: Australian photographer Paul Barbera. At the end of last year, the talented imagemaker presented a new volume in his acclaimed Where They Create series — this time by exploring the theme of his series through geographical locales. Reinvigorated by his first visit to Japan in five years, Barbera made this country the focus point of the all new volume. Published by Frame Publishers, Barbera, accompanied by Japanese writer Kanae Hasegawa, explores the workspaces of 32 leading creatives in Japan. With this considered curation of subjects and Paul's extraordinary eye for iconic details, the new book unveils the sometimes surreptitious nature of contemporary Japanese design culture.
The country is well known for its incredible food, beautiful landscapes, innovative technology and its attitude around perfectionism, that has been been setting a new worldwide bar of excellence from the moment it became known. Most importantly for Barbera in his personal journey is the sense of discovery, of both the creatives and their process, which he has been portraying for years know and is exemplified in his imagery, being able to portray more with composition than words could ever offer (especially considering the reserved Japanese culture) — resulting in quite possibly his most inspirational installment of his by now often copied, but still very relevant Where They Create project. [ Continue reading ]
Next to other Japanese frontrunners in interior design who have inspired us deeply over the last few years; names like Yusuke Seki, Jo Nagasaka of Schemata Architects, SIDES CORE and the ever-inspirational Nendo, Masamichi Katayama's legendary Wonderwall design firm is a name that was still clearly missing in our online reflections of what moves us in the creations of others. Fortunately, with last August's presentation of 'Wonderwall Case Studies', we can finally show our appreciation for their incredible vision, which this Summer was honored by Gestalten with the very first comprehensive exploration of the work, process, and mind-set of what is one of the most influential interior design firms in the world. The release of the compendium not only celebrates Katayama’s 15-year old prolific and profound body of work, but also honors the designer’s 50th birthday. Wonderwall’s East meets West approach to retail design has produced integral successes like the development of a inspirational brand space for Lexus; to the global flagship design of Uniqlo, that has become something of a benchmark in its field — the book presents rich documentation on eleven milestone projects out of a portfolio brimming with international projects, exciting collaborations, and an impressive list of clientele. Visual essays showcase the Wonderwall working culture. An in-depth profile, written by the M+ design curator Aric Chen, provides insight into Katayama’s early years, education, key influences, and major professional achievements. And a final catalog section presents a visual overview of twenty-three additional agency projects, highlighting Wonderwall’s reach and renown.
Step into this unprecedented insight of Masamichi Katayama's mind, that goes far beyond just the finished projects, giving a unique perspective on his and Wonderwall's extraordinary level of excellence. [ Continue reading ]
At the end of last year's Summer, the super inspirational multidisciplinary Japanese creative studio nendo created this beautiful retailconcept for ‚BACKYARD by | n’ — an original brand exclusive to the Japanese designer’s own products — located in the Seibu Sogo department stores in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro and Shibuya, and in the Yokohama Sogo space. BACKYARD refers both to a shop’s storage space or loading dock and a tiny paradise for children, an outdoor space for free play. The clean minimal white fixtures bring out the beautiful variety of the different products, but what we love most about the inspirational design are the plinths and in stands’ plywood, on which texture appears gradually towards the base, creating a very elegant aesthetic touch within the clean spaces. [ Continue reading ]
Chamber is an exciting new boutique of limited edition design, objects and art, which opens today in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. The space’s unique concept and retail experience is the vision of Argentinian-born Founder Juan Garcia Mosqueda. Critically acclaimed architectural practice MOS has designed the interior of the space. Taking the Renaissance-era Cabinet of Curiosities as its inspiration, Chamber will be a twenty-first century reliquary for unusual objects and a platform for design experimentation. Every two years, Garcia Mosqueda will choose a different designer or creative to curate the shop’s entire program, bringing their unique viewpoint to Chamber through specially commissioned works, and rare and vintage items. For the inaugural curatorial period, he has selected designers Studio Job, who are working closely with a dynamic group of established and emerging designers and artists to create Chamber Collection #1. [ Continue reading ]
In their glassblowing factory in the suburbs of Novi Bor in the Czech Republic glassmaker Lasvit created these beautiful transparent glass domes cluster inside a larger glass dome with a thin vapor-deposited mirrored coating, designed by Nendo. When flowers are placed inside, the glass and flowers… [ Continue reading ]