Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Villa Saitan by Eastern Design Office

 Photo by Koichi Torimura.

Villa Saitan in Nishioji-hachijo, Kyoto is sitting on a 16m x 19m lot size which has proved that the architects, Anna Nakamura and Taiyo Jinno from Eastern Design Office has provides an architecture answer on how to build a low collective housing in a quiet but dense place. The villa itself were inspired by the idea of an "immortal tree". This is because the villa land was once the site of shihachijo-palace, the residence for the hero of Japanese classical tragedy, Tale of Heike. The tale was at the stage of the rise and fall of a clan in the 12th century, because of that such old and sad memory is cherished and still told among the people of this neighborhood. Therefore, Eastern Design office think collective housing that is built on a place with such historical value should not be of any average apartment house and because of that too, they came out with this Villa Saitan, which does not take vaguely a shape of a tree, but rather an intense and massive form with a hint of movement.

"Tan" in Villa Saitan is
'the color of the shrine gates, vermilion. It is also the color of pale red granite stone, Vermilion will not be weathered. It is said that vermillion is a sacred color and it used to be applied on serving dishes and bows and arrows to make them holy. Sai means variety of beautiful colors that make something more attractive.'
- Eastern Design Office.

Villa Saitan which looks like one big house of its own consists of 11 units apartment. The architecture is covered with a concrete wall in which holes with shapes that resembles a trunk, leaves, a root and bulbs are cut which could also be seen as clouds floating over trees.
The concrete shapes resembles a hollow cave of light and sunbeams filtered through trees which were developed based on the following method:
1. lined up balconies of average collective housing are completely hidden for Villa Saitan.
2. there is no balcony for each room.
3. the ceiling height of one room is raised.
4. dwelling units are elevated 1m from the ground,
5. floor level of entrance and apartments is different.
6. center of the wall surface is curved.
7. the center of architecture facade is sculptured.
8. a curved winding slit is made on the curved wall surface.
9. the shape of the holes matches the winding slit.
10. the results is one shape of a plant growing roots undulating from it.

'Since curved holes are made on a carved wall surface, it is inevitable that the section of the holes is also twisted. This distortion resembles the shape of plants and the organic and free style of nature. The entrance to the house is from the root carved into the center of the front wall. An inner pathway peculiar to Kyoto can be found there. An inner pathway is a narrow corridor which runs from street to street and from lot to lot. In this project the inner path is connected to the garden of the town house of the client. He manages this collective housing by himself. It is his daily routine to do sweeping, arranging flowers at the entrance, and watering the path. Thus he enjoys his post-retirement years.'
- Eastern Design Office.
 Photos by Koichi Torimura.

Sketches by Eastern Design Office.

a+.  eastern design office   via

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Kids' Cardboard Furniture from KIDSONROOF

Design by Elisabeth Vidal for Kidsonroof, Bo Buro is a sturdy cardboard desk come with 2 stools (Price € 49.00) made of recycled cardboard. The stools can carry over 40 kilos of weight. With cute animals printed on it, there are holes here and there for kids hiding toys or secrets. Bo Buro can be a kids first writing desk for writing, drawing, playing, hiding under and inventing stories.

desk: B50 x H55 x L90 cm. 

stool: B25 x H25 x L25 cm.
Bo Buro by Elisabeth Vidal.

Another cardboard furniture that you can find from Kidsonroof which is also made of recycled cardboard is the Trojan Horse (Price € 19.90). Design by Alex Hellum, a beautiful yet very very sturdy object Trojan Horse is for sitting on and playing with.
'Pick it up and you'll understand its name: an unexpected fairytale-like sound tinkles from the inside of the horse.'
- Kidsonroof.

Suitable for age 2+, Trojan Horse which is also available in white comes with a little baby Trojan Horse.

Dimensions: 25*38*12 cm
Trojan Horse by Alex Hellum.

Back to the source of life! Kidsonroof wishes to re-connect modern life with nature, rediscovering basic values. Kidsonroof offers an ecological approach to the act of playing. Stimulating creativity and imagination lies at the heart of Kidsonroofs products.
Kidsonroof was established in 2005 by Romy Boesveldt (NL 68) and Ilya Yashkin (RUS 67). Together with their 3 kids and their little friends they manage a permanent testlab where new ideas keep coming up. A few weeks per year they go back to an oldfashioned simplicity when spending time in their little shed in the southern French mountains without electricity or running water.
Ilya has been trained as an architural designer (Marchi in Moscow and Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. His designs are ingeniously three dimensional and very associative. Romy takes care of the conceptual development and styling.

a+.  kidsonroof
a+.  elisabeth vidal
a+.  alex hellum

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Paper Pencils- Stop Global Warming

Made by Gongjang in Seoul, Korea, this 'Stop Global Warming' Paper Pencils are made of 100% recycled paper with soy-based inks for print packaging. The pencil set contains 5 HB pencils in a sturdy cardboard pencil case with cute penguins on the pencil case as environmental care reminder.

The designer:
Gongjang (which means ‘craftsmen who make things skillfully’) in Seoul, Korea, they design and produce products that have minimal impact on the environment through careful and responsible selection of materials and production methods.

a+.  upon a fold

Shinichi Iwami's Tiny Paper Bicycle Model- Wooden Michaux 1864

This Tiny Paper Bicycle, the Wooden Michaux 1864 by model kit designer Shinichi Iwami would be a great gift for bike enthusiast. 25 years experience as an amateur racer has given Mr. Shinichi Iwami perfect details on bicycle which he uses to create this tiny paper bicycle model. The Wooden Michaux 1864 is part of a series he has designed named ‘micro museum’. Made with thick (0.5mm) black paper, you can build this model with just a scalpel knife, tweezers, a steady hand and glue. The set comes with lasercut parts, instructions and a lovely printed envelope. U can get this for $44 from Upon A Fold. 

Apart from Mr. Shinichi Iwami also created The Micro Wing, a model aeroplanes series modelled after historic aeroplanes and do check out the rest of his mini creation from Crop Design.

Wooden Michaux 1864
Length: 75mm

The Ordinary 1883
Length: 76mm

The Draisienne 1817
Length: 82mm

Mini bicycle 30521-01
Length: 20mm
Material: Stainless steel

Mini bicycle 30521-02
Length: 20mm
Material: Stainless steel

Above: The Micro Wing

a+.  upon a fold
a+.  crop design