This year 100% Design Tokyo took "Love Green" as its theme. Upon entering the venue at the Meiji Jingu Outer Garden (accessed by way of a ginko tree-lined path no less), visitors were greeted by Judson Beaumont's Pine Beetle Wood Gate, made from wood that was discolored by the pine beetle, and thus traditionally considered unusable.
Just inside, the new addition Cube Exhibition placed the works of young designers on planted platforms. Seen in this context, works like Hiroya Kajiura's grass Ryoku-Kagu chair and Delta's Ueki tree patterned stool seemed naturally at home in an outdoor setting. Meanwhile, Karimoku Design Team's Torii chair brought that which typically belongs outside (torii gates, usually at least people-sized, mark the entrance to Shinto shrines) into the house. For this striking design, Karimoku nabbed the 100% Award Grand Prix.
Ryoku-Kagu chair by Hiroya Kajiura
Ueki chair by Delta
Torii chair by Karimoku Design Team
Natural motifs played out in a number of pieces, particularly beautifully in Mischler Traxler's Limited Moths light, displayed as part of the Spotlight on Wien exhibition. Also impressive were those pieces that moved beyond the obvious to make inventive use of discarded materials (like Yutaka Yanasigawa's clever re-purposing of windshields) and those that proved you don't have to take yourself too seriously to be green (thank you Furnish). Perhaps nothing could sum up an Earth-friendly lifestyle more, however, than turning off the lights for a mid-day siesta in Atsushi Muroi's modern Japanese take on the hammock. Note the space designed to hold an ikebana flower arrangement!
Limited Moths copper light by Mischer Traxler
Scrap Chair by Yutaka Yanasigawa
"When I was a child, all the cars collected at an auto scrap factory had their windows taken off. Looking at those somewhat sorry looking cars, I found myself wondering, "What had they done with the windows?" --The designer muses on how he came to create a chair from a recycled windshield.
Animal Vase by Furnish
"Like a pet but not a pet. Like a vase but not a vase," says the design collective that describes its creative process as 80% fun factor combined with 20% self-expression.
Wan Mock by Atsushi Muroi