Re:new in Tokyo

Tokyo is a city in a state of flux and rejuvenation. At Tokyo Designers Week in November 2011, themes of renewal and sustainability featured prominently in much of the work on display – simple but inspiring ideas with the potential to change the way we live for the better.

Alex Fitzpatrick, who travelled to Tokyo Designers Week thanks to Big River’s Timber to Tokyo competition, brings us the work that affected him most at the fair.

Change the Record
 – Paul Cocksedge
“Transforming the function of an object in a clever and functional way can be a challenging task, but to transform an object keep its inherent function is great. These old records have been transformed into an amplifier for an iPod. By simply placing the iPod in the centre of the cone it produces a gramophone-like amplification. And it is without saying they are pretty cool!”


Green Design – Pianta x Stanza
“Beautiful timber frames with built-in planters presented a great image for Pianta x Stanza’s booth. This was a great company re-forming interiors with amazing ‘green art’. The company provided products for both residential and commercial spaces.”

Kup Eatable cup – Smile Park x Rice flour cup (Food Action Nippon)
“This was interesting; a disposable cup you could later eat. Japanese designer sugiX created an edible cup out of rice flour. He demonstrated the use of the cup with what looked like Sake but I think was water, and then explained how it could also be added to your cooking. It was a cup for emergencies.”

Seed 01 – Seeds
“This stand was eye-catching. There were lots of little plants in terracotta pots, with great little flags placed everywhere. I later found out that after the disaster in Japan, a large amount of seeds were left unsold. Five designers set out to help the farmers by working together and developing a campaign to sell the seeds. 50% of the money goes back to the devastated farmers and the other 50% pays for the seeds, printing and materials. An inspiring showcase of how good design can help a social cause.”

Shinsei – sugiX/ Smile Park inc.
“When we cook there is a large amount of waste from fresh foods that we throw away. Shinsei demonstrated that these plants can be re-newed and planted again. We were told that plants always try and grow even when they have lost a lot of their parts.”


Congratulations again Alex, thank you for your post, and the team at Big River are thrilled you had a wonderful time!