If I did a blog post on every Japanese designer I saw at the London Design Festival we’d be here till Christmas, so as the Festival ends here’s a roundup, starting with London-based Keiichi Matsuda’s Prism at the V&A. Prism was so successful it’s been extended to the 28th September so hurry onto the V&A website and see if you can get a ticket. It’s a giant sculptural lantern that presents an alternative view of London and is said to expose unseen data flows in the capital. I’m not sure about that – it was more static than I expected from that description. But it’s rather jolly all the same.
Half the fun is that Prism is up in the V&A cupola, reached by a narrow winding stone staircase. Then there’s a second stairway that takes you out onto the top of the cupola where you get spectacular views across London. Don’t be frightened by the two pages of health and safety warnings about the stairs – they’re really not scary at all.
A lot of designers showed at Tent, including Ikuko Iwamoto, a young ceramicist based in Clerkenwell who makes ‘exquisite cups and other objects for a bizarre tea ceremony.’ Her all-white ceramics have a quirky charm and an interesting texture. Here’s some examples:
Huzi Design is a Hong Kong based design company which had two Japanese designers on show; Masahiro Minami, a professor at the University of Shiga ,whose wooden Pizzly Bear rocking chair was quite irresistible, and Daisuke Motogi from Tokyo with a sofa meant for losing things.
I also loved the small display by Yoshimori who are design and paper engineers specialising in foiled paper which gives a lovely reflective glow to their boxes and pencil holders.
Leaving Tent behind but still staying in Shoreditch, there were two exhibitions at the ICN Gallery: Eikou Sumura’s autumnal ikebana exhibition:
I also saw his musical table at the V&A but sadly wasn’t able to hear it as there were only two performances which seems a bit of a shame. Apparently it uses 436 music boxes that respond to visitors movements.
Finally, at the Jasper Morrison shop they were showing his cast iron kitchenware designs made using traditional manufacturing techniques in the Oigen foundries in Mizusawa city in Iwate northern Japan.