The fair that’s fun
Japan [DESIGN SHOW]
The term “trade show” doesn’t do justice to the For Stockists design and craft fair held in Tokyo each September. Only open to buyers and press, it must be the most laidback event in the design calendar. A convivial gathering brought together by organiser Shinichiro Nakahara, For Stockists represents a fresh selection of everything from pottery and prints to clothes and accessories. Nearly 100 exhibitors joined in this year at Jiyu Gakuen, a former girls’ school designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Morikage Shirt The Kyoto shirt-maker now does bags made from cotton shirt fabric.
Hasami porcelain Designer Taku Shinomoto, owner of Tortoise in LA, collaborated with a Japanese kiln to make tableware.
Buchi A new company based in Nagano that makes wooden toys for children.
Horse Blanket Research Soft wool and cotton blankets for humans, made in Japan.
Rie Ho The Osakan ceramicist has designed a new range of bird tiles. birds-words.com
Get well soon
Holland [rehab centre]
Hidden among the trees in the forest of Arnhem sits Groot Klimmendaal, a rehabilitation centre for patients recovering from a disease, accident or birth impairment. Functioning as a public environment with a focus on wellbeing, its three-storey anodised-aluminium façade appears as an extension of the scenic landscape. Dutch architect Koen van Velsen designed it and says, “Vibrant colours and daylight play an important role in bringing the outside indoors.” The centre was shortlisted for the Mies van der Rohe prize.
Established in 1911, the medicine faculty is the second oldest at the University of Porto. Local architecture firm OFF4 was recently called on to redesign an area of more than 27,000 sq m. The modern construction includes a bridge to the adjacent Hospital de São João and an Ecothermic Plus aluminium system that regulates temperatures so the building is more energy efficient.
Australia [autism centre]
A centre for autistic children in Sydney has swapped its old art deco home for a new space in a suburb between Bondi and the city. The Edgecliff Medical Centre for Autistic Children is a light and welcoming affair designed by Enter Architecture and includes three treatment rooms, a reception area and play spaces.
Residents of the mountainous Valtellina region of northern Italy have relied for centuries on locally quarried soapstone to make pots or cooking and storing food. Known as lavècc, the old-fashioned utensils have been given an updated look by luxury kitchen-maker Strato. The design brand has unveiled a line of round and rectangular shapes in three sizes that are safe to use on gas and electric hobs and double as serving dishes.
Q & A Assaf Wand - Owner, Sabi California
Assaf Wand founded Palo Alto-based design brand Sabi in 2009, specialising in health and wellness products for the over-fifties.
What do you do?
We are building stylish branded goods for baby boomers. People over the age of 50 in the US have 90-plus per cent of the net worth and 60-plus per cent of the net income [in the country] but only 5 per cent of marketing budgets caters to them. For these people we are trying to turn moments of chore into moments of joy.
What does the name mean?
Sabi is a Japanese notion of finding the beauty in ageing.
Why focus on pill-dispensers?
Taking pills and vitamins has a very negative connotation and current dispensers look disgusting and ugly. We thought we could redesign them.
What was the design process?
There is a standard process: I looked at the rankings of the world's top designers, set up calls and narrowed it down. I went for [San Fransisco-based] fuseproject because it knows how to work with young brands.
What are you working on now?
A second line focused on the idea that when people reach the age of 65 their wish is to live at home for as long as they can. We are doing a lot of stuff for around the house, from grips to aids for reaching and lifting.