Friday, December 28, 2007

Thursday, December 27, 2007

let's all complain about air travel


I have always struggled with people's inability to discern the difference between senseless whining and complaining. A complaint is the voicing of a legitimate concern with the positive goal of improvement. Granted, a complaint should be voiced in a constructive manner to get the best response, but moreover than not, people simply take it as whining and ignore the intended message (i won't even begin to address the inability of even well-educated people to have a truly intellectual discussion on the subject of religion, politics or computer operating systems!)

To me, designers and inventors are great complainers. Many of us will start with a verbal gripe, but luckily, many also sit down and draft solutions to all sorts of vexations! I find designer stories very engaging, especially when they can identify their motivation, inspiration and influences in/of their work. One theme that comes up in my own process is air travel (which will bring me to the point of this blog entry).

By the time I was conscious of air travel, the boeing 747 was already flying for a few years. If I remember correctly, my first non-infant flying experience was on a National airlines flight to Miami on a DC-10. Concords were flying over my head from the beach club on Long Island giving out a short sonic boom we would wait to hear. It was also at this time that Start Trek was popular in reruns, Space 1999 was must-see-tv and overall, Sci-Fi was prime-time. From my childhood perspective, the 747 and DC-10 were not even the height of technology for travel at the time as we had the concord in the air and space shuttle on the way. Our sights were set for colonies on the moon by 1999 and trips to Tokyo in super sonic jets cutting the trip to 5 hours (not to mention hovercrafts!)!

This is where I must insert my amazement and awe in technological advancements in computers and mobile telecommunications as I like to keep things on a positive note, but my frustration with things like air travel is a major component of my motivation in creating Nooka – airplanes and wristwatches are 2 things that do not match the level of advancement that should be acceptable in a world that has room for the iphone!

Anyway, why am I writing this? Because the New York Times has a blog that never ceases to anger me on the subject of air travel [access it here]. The NYT is normally a consumer-first news source, but this particular blog seems to be a mouthpiece for the industry itself. Sometimes they do address some concerns like rediculous and pointless security measures, but moreover it is a rebuke to anyone who complains about the state of air travel in 2007 [and soon 2008].

My point? I am on an airplane a minimum of 10 flights a year since 1987. A flight to Tokyo in 1977 took 15 hours from NYC and guess what? It still takes that long in 2007! A computer in 1977 was pretty much 0 for me as home computers were a rarity then yet we have seen increases in speed and technology that only a mathematician could express for me. Why should we not have higher expectations for air travel? The Jetlagged blog sometimes refers to when people had to take boats and trains as a scolding to people complaining about airtravel, and I use the same argument to make my point: it is not 1907 anymore. Everything gets faster and safer...why not air travel?

As for service on the planes: let the people who made the decision to not serve food on short flights prepare for a trip to starting in a suburban household in central New Jersey with a vegetarian and a child with Celiac disease. Let them see how 2 hours flying time does not mean 2 hours travel time for even a family living near a major airport (or anyone for that matter with current security procedures). Let the city planners and politicians travel with a lower middle class family with 2 children and their luggage on a bus to a midwest airport or on the subway+airtrain here in NYC. Let them find a healthy meal in an airport.

I say it's time for EVERYBODY to complain and complain in an articulate and productive manner so blogs like jetlagged get with the program -- and please note, this is not an airline-only problem -- the airports and the government are equally responsible for creating infrastructure and systems that keep air travel a safe and efficient experience. And a note to all the aeronautic engineers out there: where the hell is my anti-gravity drive hovercraft?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

american vogue


i got a call from my PR guy that a green AND red nooka are featured in the January Vogue with Kate Hudson on the cover! check it out.

kudos to the stylist and editor...great photo shoot!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Creatures of the Night [COTN™]


I am proud to leak the news of my new line of urban inspired camouflage to honor creatures of the night. The design was a happy accident [gosh i love design process!], a result of developing the “have a grey-t day” line of cool grey nookas exploring images of “grey/urban animals” – pigeons, rats, mice, bats and cats. The resulting camo pattern was to be produced only in shades of grey, but the custom pattern we created is just too good to limit to just one color!

We are proud to present COTN™ camo in:

Urban Jungle Grey
Balmy Army Green
and
Crooklyn Remix

The face is the Nooka Zen-H, stainless steel case back, PU band with butterfly closure, mineral crystal, 5ATM waterproof, and EL backlight. $250 US [but don't quote me on that] available in January 2008.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

iphone: do not buy [yet]

what is a designer blog without the mandatory entry on the iphone? well here's mine, and i'll make it short: do not buy yet.

the iphone is an amazing leap in interface design, but there are some drawbacks no fault of apple: ATT super sucks. the edge network is painfully slow and their billing practices need to be investigated by the authorities. i read all the new york times articles about getting $1,000 iphone bills when traveling abroad so i called ATT BEFORE my trip to sign up for the international data AND voice roaming plans [i'm tech-savvy and turned off the international data roaming whenever i was in a wifi hotspot as well] -- i still got an $1,000 bill!! [no BS, will post a scan of the 2 bills here soon]. calls to ATT only confused the matter as they tried to explain that they bill present and next month in advance [is this legal?]. my sense is that they bill the data transfer even when on wifi as i was very careful not to use my fone much the month i was traveling.

only buy the iphone when the following things happen without unauthorized hacks:
VOIP is available,
IM [not just iChat] is standard,
available unlocked,
edge is upgraded to acceptable speeds,
or if you have shitloads of money or never plan to use your iphone overseas.

a ping from pingmag japan

a couple of weeks ago i did an interview for ping magazine in japanese. the edited version of that interview was uploaded yesterday. since the interview was conducted in japanese i assumed it would only go up that way, but an english version was prepared. surprisingly, it's a pretty good translation! there were a few emails back and forth to clarify my responses, no doubt because japanese is not my native language, so it was weird that i never got a draft of the translation to check....

anyway, the english version is here. japanese version here. thank you chiemi!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

new press



nooka gets such wonderful press coverage, it's difficult to feature it all. mono magazine in japan has a full page on ME in their 25th anniversary issue which is an honor. i must say though, i am very disappointed with the horrible picture they used -- i look 70 years old in it! i asked them to use a different one, but obviously they did not. also, W hotels is featuring nooka in their WISH catalog which i believe in in every room of the W hotel chain. they did a KICK-ASS job with the product photography.

back to mono...they are the first to cover our upcoming all clock...more on that later.

Monday, December 10, 2007

nooka on the view


i know it's not the target demographic, but nooka made a bold appearance on abc's the view last friday when brooklyn's own, the vesties performed on the show. julie of the band actually posed nude for my last catalog though we only printed a tasteful shot with her tits covered by her hot guitar. check out the "caroling for a caravan" part 2 on abc.com.

if you've ever wondered if there could ever be a band as good as blondie, the vesties are a band to watch. check them out on myspace and itunes!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

miami heist update

my hotel is super crappy...they have a thrifty car rental office right in front of my room! i guess it's perfect for people who want to wake up early in the morning to the sounds of people refusing additional insurance.

the space for heist is really nice [thanks to the sexy doug perkul of schatzi!] so if you're in miami, please come by. got to hang out with motomichi nakamura and meet scott bigfoot [both are artists in the show]. it's great to be in miami after 7 years – lots of development – unfortunately it's looking more like shenzhen china than a US city:)

map magazine party is here at charcoal studios tonight and blackbook tomorrow night.

also...i sold one big piece so far...the 60 inch c-print! YEAH.

i checked out the ink show [works on paper] and bridge. i never really thought about it, but having a one stop market for all things "art" is kinda cool for people who need to fill their 2nd and 3rd homes with expensive stuff. when i'm filthy rich, i'll send my personal curator though.

Monday, December 3, 2007

minneapolis

i know it sounds like a cliché coming from a native new yorker, but aside from 2 trips in the late 90s to chicago, the midwest is a mystery to me. and though i can draw a map of the us quite well, i can only place the coastal states with any accuracy. this past weekend saw me in minneapolis which i am told is in a state called minnesota. everyone my age and older knows minneapolis from the mary tyler moore show of the 70s or from prince and the revolution. cultured peeps know it from the walker art center, which is the reason for my trip -- to do a museum shop meet and greet for members of the center.

we landed saturday into a snowy minneapolis and i drive the rental car on unplowed highways. the hotel, graves601, is a boutique hotel that would be comfortable in nyc, london or berlin -- common areas feature custom lighting [wood veneers over plexi boxes], floor to ceiling seamless wood paneling, plexiglass blocks glued to create post modern space dividers and the requisite overplayed lounge-crap mixed cd playing over and over and over in the halls, in the elevators, in the lobby [who thunk one could get sick of listening to ‘libertango’ by grace jones, but then again, i was never subjected to it 8 times a day for 3 days]. the rooms are not as ‘designed’ as the common areas, but spacious -- plus, i’ve never seen hermes soap before [it smells pretty]. 2 problems are the fact that the windows don’t open [bring candles or incense if you know what i mean] and there was no bath tub in my room [bathroom felt like a hospital]. the construction though is flawless, not a light switch poorly sunk, no corner imperfect, and no surface not plumb.

we ate at a place local to the hotel [in the warehouse district] called pizza luce which was great. my double shot of jaegger was only $5.25! we then went to a club called jetset though the snow kept everyone home, so we didn’t stay.

sunday was our trunk show at the walker. the walker is truly a wonderful institution. unfortunately, only one person showed up for my presence [the snow?] which made me a bit sad. it seems to verify my impression that americans really aren’t interested in designers like asian consumers are, which is fine as they still buy the product. again, it was probably the snow being the first major fall of the season. nooka does do well in the shop though, so i shouldn’t complain.

now back to the walker: the permanent collection is amazing, their staff is wonderful and friendly, and the building by herzog and mueron is a pleasure. the utility areas of the museum are playful herzog and mueron -- sharp angles with smooth seamless joins, glacial forms and light, combined with surprisingly utilitarian/practical gallery spaces. the transition from the fantastical to the practical going from gallery to hallway to gallery creates a sense of adventure to the sometimes tedious task of looking at the art [i went for the building but stayed for the art!]. (if there are any people who know construction details, i am curious as to how the interior walls are finished. they seem to be a plastic veneer over sheet rock with molded plaster joins. the surface has sponge/scrub marks all over the surfaces which brings you to my question: is this intentional or the unintentional leftovers of a poor choice of cleaning material? is it a wash of plaster over the veneer to attempt to match the surface with the plaster joins? i really want to know as it doesn’t match the smooth futurist aesthetic of the structure)

after the walker, we drove to see the new guthrie theater designed by jean nouvel -- and what an amazing building it is. it’s an imposing deathstar black onyx clad structure with a signature overhang jutting out towards the mississippi called the endless bridge [or is it bridge to nowhere?]. this building also creates an alice-in-wonderland experience as the blackness of the skin gives one an impression that the interiors will be smaller than they actually are -- a feeling exaggerated by the light colors of the interior walls. i think the best anaolgy i can come up with at the moment is akin to eating a dark chocolate cherry cordial for the first time: it looks like a solid chocolate but cracks in the mouth to release the liquid surprise of syrup and a bright vermillion maraschino cherry. it really is worth a visit. if anyone reading this knows jean, tell him i’m a huge fan of his.
we then had dinner with friends of friends who love in a fab converted loft condo, but i won’t bore you with details of what we ate or drank [cocktails in the condo, then dinner at azian, an uptown asian fusion spot]. they were great hosts who filled us in on the real estate market and design business in minneapolis as well as pointers for nightlife [nothing on a freezing sunday night].

i was told that minneapolis is famous for breakfast, so today we had breakfast at a place called hell’s kitchen [tried to go to ike’s, but they close the kitchen after 10 am for breakfast]. they played x-mas carols the whole time we were there, which confirms my suspicions of what the soundtrack in hell really is [i think i like libertango again]. the food was great, home-made bison sausage patties, local wild rice porridge, sickly sweet pecan cinnamon rolls, and eggs. no soy milk for my coffee was a minus though.

hotel check-out and then we went to visit status, a cool sneaker shop that will start to carry nooka. the owner, sly peoples was there -- he’s a well connected guy in the sports world. after that we visited the mall of america -- world’s largest mall. it’s actually quite impressive and a place where start-up brands test out franchises. there was a p.b. cafe [peanut butter themed sandwich + coffee shop] which has daily flavors of peanut butter like asian curry or sundried tomato...not sure it will be a hit. unfortunately, we had to get the rental car back by 2:00, so didn’t have enough time to see the whole mall.

so what did we learn this trip? that minneapolis has some great new architecture [i didn’t write about the minneapolis public library which is also very dramatic], friendly cultured people, a great sneaker shop, freeze-your-ass-off winters, the world’s largest shopping mall, bison sausages, headquarters for target, the start of the mississippi river, affordable real estate, and a sculpture of mary tyler moore!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

tanaka+nooka collab update


i have to admit that i was sad when we didn't get a huge response to our online collab project with the amazing shin tanaka, but i do want to share the best entry so far -- sent all the way from italia!
thank you michele of artevettoriale!

everyone else...u still have time: http://www.nooka.com/collab/shintanaka.html or the link above.

Monday, November 26, 2007

miami heist [now with party!]


i will be in a group art show concurrent with the basel art fair in miami december 5th - 9th -- miami heist. please come if you can as i will show a refreshed and edited selection from my fairy labor union memorials exhibition.

PARTY!!! Thursday December 6th, from 7-10 pm
Charcoal Studios
2135 NW 1st Ave.
Miami, FL
Wynwood District (next to Pulse Art Fair)
www.miamiheist.com

Friday, November 23, 2007

the zirc on mocoloco


i'm sure everyone who reads my blog is a frequent visitor to mocoloco.com, but if not, you should check them out. they have nooka info before i get to update my own blog! from the quotes, i can see that this was written by someone at my sydney australia presentation 2 weeks ago THANKS! they are writing mainly on our upcoming zirc model which i think will be a hit. it's 45 x 35 mm with a flush right wrist band. the new display is more evocative of a analog watch, so i hope it will pique the interest of people who think nooka is too much for them.

these will be available spring 2008 from nooka.com and fine retailers everywhere.

Monday, November 19, 2007

AUCKLAND



I spent the weekend with my friend pat in devonport which was great. her 2 kids are as adorable as ever and i was in time for harrison's 4th birthday party. it was a rock and roll theme party, so i was drafted to be a member of kiss with joe [my star is on the wrong side for my paul stanley]. the neighborhood kids were all great - aside from pat and Joe's kids (and tim finn’s* daughter elliot) - davenport is a bit like “children of the corn” though. the cultural diversity of auckland hasn’t permeated this hood yet:)
on monday, i caught up with robert and imelda at the hotel duxton to meet with our new distributor for new zealand. his name is kennedy and he took the day off to show us around - which was wonderful. we climbed rocks, hills, volcanoes and visited beautiful surfing beaches like piha. it was exhausting but we didn’t feel bad about being too tired to go out as it was a monday night and not much was going on in auckland.

for nooka, we are only in one shop in auckland, but are in 1 shop in christchurch and 2 shops in wellington. i haven’t been to those 2 cities, but what i hear, they are more urban than auckland though auckland is the largest and most populous city. my impression from my 2 trips here is that auckland is quite hippy and may not be the best market for my products. kennedy is on-it, so i'm sure we'll be in more shops by the end of the year. he's done a lot for just a month.

kennedy set up a meet-and-greet night for us at a cafe/dj cd vinyl/t-shirt shop on ponsaby street for press and buyers. like the event in sydney, very few people showed up which is disappointing after coming so long a ways, but reality check: i am not tom dixon or philip starck.

auckland does seem to be caught in a time-warp...more 1950’s themed things than i remember seeing in other cities. there was one cool shop near the main train station called eon [check] that would be perfect for nooka, but they only feature new zealand based designers.

some things to see if you are in auckland: the museum in the domain has a great collection of maori artifacts and buildings as well as a nice compact natural history collection with great interactive areas for kids [and adults like me]. the national park around the auckland watershed is amazing in the diversity of plant life and the beaches are beautiful [you will need a car]. in the city i had the best indian EVER at a restaurant called tagore in cnr quay [ph: 349 9463]. for great beer/wine/snacks/food, mac’s brewbar on 23-27 nuffield street is a cool environment. order a table platter which includes 3 glasses of wine or 4 beers for around $52nz and you’ll have more than enough to eat for 3 people. also check out the britomart train station, the only central station in the world with no people [everyone drives]!

so now onto the bitching and moaning section for both sydney and new zealand [hopefully someone in those governments AND hotel industry will be searching blogs and read this): modernize your internet infrastructure! australia and new zealand have to be the 2 most difficult [developed] countries to get online reliably and affordably. i had free internet in my hotel in sydney which only worked one day, and the internet at the hotel in auckland was $14.95 for what they called 24 hours but shut down after you reached 25 megabytes of data transfer [up+down]. it was really ridiculous and hardly the service a business traveler has come to expect, especially after japan and hong kong where most hotels offer high-speed at no charge. i think the city governments need to launch free wifi areas in the parks or major pedestrian areas to force the telecoms to bring the prices more in line and moreover, to get the populous connected to the rest of the world.

also, i did realize that if i were to move to auckland, i would need to cover my body in tattoos - robert and i were the only men without any tatts.

mustache update: i’m growing one stellar mustache...i had no idea how big my upper lip is!

* tim finn was a founding member of an early 80s new zealand band called split endz. i was really into them at one point.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

sydney


i'm back in sydney for the 2nd time in 18 months – what a great city. the weather is perfect, the food is great, and the people are wonderful. the first day i was completely out of it as i couldn't sleep well on the flight [once you get used to flat beds on ANA or BA, nothing else makes the grade unfortunately]. day 2 [tuesday] was spent in the de de ce gallery on liverpool street to set up the space for the press presentation. john expected 30-50 people of which only 10 showed, but it was nice to actually talk to everyone who was there. hopefully we'll get some great press mentions and start moving greater numbers in australia.

i gave a good presentation, similar to the ones i did at pecha-kucha in tokyo and new york last year but in doing so, i realized the direction i need to rework it. right now the slide show and talk is more of a time line of my projects. i made a note to myself to re-do when i get back to nyc to support a "motivation", "inspiration", "influences", "nooka now" and then "nooka tomorrow" format. or...hire a proper video artist to make a presentation to press and play:)

today, wednesday, i had lunch with john of de de ce [he has been the most amazing host...had a great dinner with his wife amanda and robert tuesday night as well] and then went to visit the design shop at the sydney opera house and the shop at the sydney museum. saw the collection of the sydney museum and a free tour of the opera house [thanks guys!]. i walked back through the domain and half of hyde park all the way to darlinghurst.



photos: a snap of the crowd at my presentation, the fairy sculpture i made for the gallery [john has a collection of art/artifacts from everyone who he works with and have made the trek to oz]. parking and signage at the world heritage site sydney opera house.



Friday, November 9, 2007

Hong Kong


my last trip to Hong Kong was miserable because I had bronchitis from too many smoke filled nights in tokyo. This trip, I made a point NOT to go to superdeluxe in tokyo because of the smoke but if you are ever in tokyo, i highly recommend a visit as i heard that smoking in bars will soon be banned! anyway, i can write about superdeluxe in another post....on to hong kong!

hong kong is really a wonderful place – truly a city for the future. arriving at their airport is enough to fill a new yorker with anger at the poor job the port authority is doing with nyc's 3 airports. i am truly embarrassed knowing that a visitor landing for the first time is presented with such a nightmare [i LOVE NYC, just wish the airports were updated to match the century we live in]. even tokyo, with all it's high speed rail links to narita is pathetic compared to the ease of boarding the train to the city from hong kong's international airport – no stairs, elevators, escalators AT ALL – get your luggage, get a ticket, walk 20 yards or so, and you board a train that takes you to kowloon or hong kong central in 24 minutes or less! truly, an airport designed by real travelers who have struggled with suitcases in Tokyo and NYC. unfortunately, most elected officials go from limo to private jet to limo....really now....onto hong kong.

i checked into the lovely JIA hotel in causeway bay and caught up on emails and calls to NYC. I was then too exhausted to do anything. The next day, I took care of bank errands and walked around to do my market research. We don't do well in HK in terms of sales but do get a lot of press attention. I understand that HK is a city for BIG established brands and is difficult with Nooka being just 3 years old. No problem, I'm patient.

in the evening, Allan, my friend and distributor for HK came by the hotel and took me to see some stores. We met the owner of a toy shop that stocks nooka and then went for a french meal at a cute place he also owned called LE MARRON. If you want a secret place to impress your friends – this is the place. the tables are divided into private areas with lace curtains and they have some private rooms. they also have a terrace for smoking [HK recently banned smoking in restaurants and bars! yeah!]. check out their site here.

the next day was crazy busy: robert and imelda arrive at 9:00 am and come to my room as theirs is not ready yet. robert, eddie and i then had an 11:00 meeting to meet a silicone goods manufacturer for potential new products [went well]. we then reconvened with allan for a delicious dim sum lunch at a place near the jia as allan and i had a 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm appointments with press [went well]. in between i we met with Raffy, our agent in the philipines. i had a 5:30 pm meeting with michael young, and then off to dinner in kowloon city to a seafod restaurant eddie wanted to take us to...cocktails with friends and finally bed AFTER checking emails and interfacing digitally with my staff in NYC!

design notes: even though taxis are inexpensive in HK, make a point to take the metro [subway]. each station is designed to a different color featured in custom bisazza glass tiles on the walls with either matching, complimenting or coordinated color flooring tiles [not bisazza]. it's unfortunate that they cover most of the stations with floor to ceiling ad wraps as 1. it covers up the beauty of the stations and 2. though HK is a great place to marvel at urban planning, it is not a great place for graphic design.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

it isn't over til the gaijin sings

i spent the last day this trip to tokyo in the office to catch up on emails from all the business cards i collected during the shows. I think I did a good job of identifying key people to send emails to from 300+ cards before i forget who they are! at 8:00 we went to a local izakaya which looked very non-descript at best [i would never have thought to eat there on my own] but was a delicious kyu-shu specialty restaurant! we had ba-sashi which i was hunkering for the whole trip and dishes like mentai-tsume sanma yaki [spicy cod-roe stuffed grilled mackerel] and in place of edamame, steamed sora-mame [broad beans] which were great. (i tried to buy broad beans in the US but the frozen ones are all from china and were quite bitter – any suggestions?) i got drunk on a nice bottle of imo-jochu and then off to karaoke!

it was a rainy monday night and one would expect the karaoke-kan to be more willing to negotiate price, but we managed to get a ¥2500 [+tax] per person for 2 hours all you can drink. when i think about it, it was cheaper and nicer than the karaoke box places i've been to in nyc. needless to say, it was a fun night. artist taku anekawa joined us and is fun to watch sing as was mr. yamada's japanese rap!. here is a link to his site. we were out til 3:00 am.


i didn't get to hang out with my dear friend soichi terada as he was too busy with a new game soundtrack he's working on. here is a link to his site. because of this, he offered to drive me to narita for my flight to HK and we would catch up on an early lunch and the drive. the drive was great...first time i made it to narita in an hour by car or train.

and now, i am in HK! i will write a separate blog for HK. fotos for the above in a bit.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

MoMA Store Omotesando

on the evening of november 1st, i went to the opening of the MoMA store in Japan. They are in a brand new luxury shopping environment on Omotesando called GYRE which has galleries and restaurants as well. the MoMA shop has been an important supporter of my work from the beginning so it was great to see the NYC and Tokyo staff at the same event. The Tokyo store features quite a few models of my line.

the party was great, i got to meet the architect of the store space, Richard Gluckman of Gluckman Mayner Architects [of NYC] and people from other brands in the shop.

photos include Chay and her hubby Rob, a picture of me with Cathy and Mr. Suda, a buyer for the Tokyo store.

check out the store in person or online.




Saturday, November 3, 2007

november 2nd





yesterday was another busy day in tokyo for me. travel + jetlag + standing for hours in cool-looking-but-painful shoes at the fair left me feeling like a pretzel – off to find a place for a massage! unfortunately, all the places on shokuan-dori in tokyo's little korea looked a bit sketchy, so i boarded the JR to shibuya where i know a few places. the tui-na place i normally go to doesn't open til 2:00 pm so i ended up in a shiatsu clinic place for a massage. it was at times both painful and relaxing but my day long headache was gone! i also had lunch at the raj mahal with gordon who does web design for amway japan and nissan [i hired gordon as a graphic designer when i was an art director for a small design studio in tokyo in 1988 and he's still here].

i then went to 100% to meet with michael young and his team and catch up on what he's showing and as usual, everything is amazing. his designer, ben walked the show with me and showed me his side projects. lots of great stuff in the main tents but the student work this year was really horrible – not one notable project that stood out [or am i burnt-out from seeing to many exhibitions this year?]. i also ran into ken o'rourke (the bicycle king of taichung) which was nice. he worked on the bikes michael young designed [see foto].

at tide i met the designers of a ridiculously expensive but wonderful line of kimonos called HIROCOLEDGE which debuts in the newly renovated Dairmaru across from Tokyo Station. Hiroko was as beautiful as her creations.

after tide we went to a party for a japanese laquerware maker called wajima where i met the chief technology office for a brand i LOVE calle amadana as well as catching up with designers from the shows. we then went to a party thrown by iDEA, a shop that does very well with nooka. i also met Chiaki Murata, an industrial designer whos work I also admire. It's really great to have the opportunity to meet so many people I admire in one city and on the same trip.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

nooka booth





here are finally some better pictures of our booth and the nooka kaiten-sushi market. unfortunately, our booth is in a dark corner of the show and people do not seem to figure out that you need to walk through the doorway to see the items on exhibit. i wanted a booth design that reflected the stated theme of the show "PLAY" without straying from the nooka concept – it seems i was the only one trying to do so – which has been a painful exercise in how i over-think everything! well...it's all experience to apply to next years show and to shows in NYC.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

design tide day one






last night was the press preview and then opening party for design tide. i was interviewed and photographed for mono magazine in the afternoon which was great. i will write a longer post on our booth and the nooka people, but i thought i'd give a taste of some of the other exhibitors first [and also, my installation is sooooo sad in comparison to the design studios from europe whose booths are financed by their respective embassies!]. i need to get on finding a sponsor to do an NYC pavilion type installation next year and bring some local NYC talent along with nooka...any ideas? or maybe i should bring tide to NYC? both ideas excite me...

from top: me with a nooka logo mustache.
entrance area with installation by Pearson Lloyd of London.
LED Abacus...a lot of fun!
installation by bleed of norway [who sell nooka in their concept shop] to showcase lamps by norway says.
instant libraries by BACH tokyo.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Doctor Tanaka


i began an email exchange with artist, shin tanaka after the success of the nooka+garbege collaboration [thank you garbege for the introduction] which resulted in the tanaka+nooka boxboy collaboration. up until recently, shin lived in kyushu and we never managed to meet face-to-face until this weekend. of course, our mixi pages are linked, so we keep up-to-date on each other. he has a top secret job as a scientist at a research center near mt. fuji [i promised not to reveal his day job to anyone, and it awes me that someone can do so many things as well as he does]. i was honored he took time to come to tokyo to meet and hang out. check out his great web site.

(how do you like my new cap? it was ¥100 at the yoyogi flea market)

Friday, October 26, 2007

devilrobots 10th anniversary party



it was great that the devil robots 10th anniversary party happened while i was in tokyo as it was a great way to catch up with old friends - especially people from osaka i haven't seen in many years who came up for the opening. it was about 8 years ago when i first met the devilrobots team in new york when i assisted them in the installation of their very first gallery exhibition for the tofu-oyako at zakka on grand street. it's been wonderful to see their characters grow into an international phenomenom and become friends along the way. the opening party was held at the parco gallery in shibuya.

you can learn more about team devilrobots here though the site is japanese

top: with mori chack.
bottom: mister kitai, creator of the tofu oyako series [left], special guest gachapin [middle], and tofu oyako no hitori [right].

i also got to meet mister tei of furifuri company who recognized me from my mixi page [mixi is the japanese equivilent of facebook], and mister mori chack, creator of gloomy bear, who's work i love and also knew only through mixi until the party. mixi is a one way i keep up my japanese writing skills.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

design tide tokyo



here i am again in tokyo japan for the now anual design tide exhibition. this time though, i have a proper office in sendagaya to do work while away from nyc. design tide happens concurrent to 100% design and is a great time to be in tokyo -- designers and architects from all over the world are here with exhibitions, presentations and shows! check out www.designtide.jp for more information. also, check out the webpage for my new tokyo office: www.nooka.jp