Archive for the ‘Products’ Category

Umbrellas and parasols

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

So – last week I was at the interiorlifestyleTokyo Fair spring 2010.

Apart from what you’re immediately at and networking with new and old, there’s always the excitement of the first walk-about.

For some reason, what struck me were umbrellas and parasols. Maybe there’s the background of all these big storms in the news (right!), but more immediately it being rainy season and also having witnessed how the parasol is well and alive in Tokyo once the summer sun and heat begins. For women of all ages. The more middle-aged and above, the more certain, but very much  there amongst young women as well.

And it is not easy to find a good umbrella!

First there was the Senz storm resistant umbrella, with its asymmetric spike lengths and new shape.  The idea of having an oblong shape cover for the child with you or shopping bags  seams fun and useful.  Officially, the tail points backwards in strong winds, it would seem.

At the fair, the twist was in the cooperative pattern design by Minä Perhonen, a Japanese clothing and textile brand with their main focus on “creating wearable items that last through the test of time.” The main point though with Minä Perhonen is, that fabric patterns are uniquely created for specific uses, a dress or bag shape coming first for example. The pattern for Senz is called Rain Symphony, with a little (hhmmm – tight for time?) trailer to go. The poster was eye-catching somehow. Maybe it’s about how I’d like to act in the rain instead of how I do or have to?

The 691236 parasol was even more fun and a good example of  how the Japanese are focused on finding ways of adding function to everyday objects. Here the umbrella/parasol becomes a clock – of sorts. Or is it a watch as you’re carrying it with you? The red handle comes with a small compass and the shade with numbering for time. You point number 12 to the South, check the sun’s position on your parasol grid  - and know what time it is, at least with the approximation necessary for a lazy summer afternoon. Made me think we’d need dials starting from 4 am and going round to 2 am for the upcoming Nordic Midsummer.

More on the fair and impressions after a flight back to Helsinki.

And more on thoughts how design in Japan is strong in incorporating a functional change or addition to the object. And maybe on the history of that.


Johanna Gullichsen launches new bag designs and Puzzle family in Japan

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

In response to the variety of table settings and dining cultures in Japan, Johanna Gullichsen was happy to design a product family of placemats in varying sizes. They are called Puzzle and design relies strongly on the economy-of-fabric principle: measurements utilize the maximum amount of the fabric’s repeat and patterns so that “nothing is left on the sewing room floor”.

Photos coming soon.