This is the second part of a two-part recap of the 2014 Good Design Awards; see Part 1 here.
While the historic design exhibition represented a museum-worthy look at decades worth of design, this year also saw the debut of the Good Design Japanese Furniture Selection. In the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake, there has been a renewed conscientiousness about considering the value and infrastructure of day to day life and quality of living. The curation of the Japanese Furniture Selection was specifically oriented towards these considerations, and a "wish to convey values through designs that have a fundamental purpose through meaning beyond direction." Many of the designs had been made utilizing traditional craftsmanship such as Japanese woodworking as well as new technologies.
The Kisaragi armchair was a candidate for the Grand Award. Japan has an abundance of cedar, which until now was too soft for furniture applications. The Hida Sangyo Co. developed an innovative technique for compressing cedar to render it strong enough to bear weight, and created this beautifully sculpted chair made from locally sourced and readily available materials.
The Great Earthquake has negatively impacted the fishing and agricultural industries in the Tohoku region, which took the brunt of the damage and radioactive fallout. In order to support local farmers and fishermen, Tohoku Kaikon created the Tohoku Edible Journal, a publication that connects them with consumers. Alongside editorial articles and photography celebrating the subjects, subscribers receive actual food product from the Tohoku region with recipes and comprehensive information. The magazine has been a resounding success, garnering fans for the producers who interact with subscribers via the publication's Facebook page. The fans often visit the businesses and become long lasting supporters. There is hope for the magazine to expand to other regions.
Since 1957, the Good Design Award has taken place in Japan to evaluate, encourage and promote design in industry. The products and services awarded receive a "G-Mark," a note of distinction that apparently has high recognition among the Japanese public: the Japanese Institute of Design promotion states that 86% of the population is familiar and aware of the mark. Applying the G-Mark to products and services is a boon to smaller manufacturers to elevate their presence in the marketplace and serves to promote the work of industrial and product designers in Japan.
Despite its prominence in Japan, the G-Mark is not as well known internationally, particularly outside of Asia. This year the Japanese Institute of Design promotion made a concerted effort to invite international design press with representatives from publications like Design Bureau, Taiwan's uDesign, Yanko Design and of course Core77 among others. We were given access to the exhibit as well as interviews with jury members and the chairman of the 2014 Good Design Award, renowned industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa.
The scope and scale of the Good Design Exhibition itself is quite immense, with 1,258 winners, covering fields including Furniture Design, Architecture, Automotive, Service Design and Design for Industrial Manufacturing. In addition to the G Mark Winners, the Good Design Exhibition includes G Mark co-sponsored awards programs from Thailand, India, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, which not only showcased the contemporary design scenes of the regions but emphasized the materials and techniques of small manufacturers that have been losing economic traction and international awareness due to large-scale mass production spurred on by cheap labor.
Above and below: recipients of Thailand's Design Excellence Award.
Tokyo Midtown, an immense mixed-use development space in Roppongi, was the main hub of this year's exhibition, with satellite exhibitions in Shibuya and Ginza.
Beyond the stringent criteria in the screening process, this year's annual theme was Kokochi (心地) which roughly translates to a "Quality of Comfort." Naoto Fukasawa describes Kokochi as a satisfying quality of interaction that is essential for design. According to Fukasawa, successful Kokochi in design builds a harmonious interaction between the users and technology. For him, Kokochi is an essential aspect of design that contemporary designers must strive for, in order to create relevant products and services. Additionally, Jury Member Gen Suzuki describes this sensation as a result of achieving a harmony or balance between all the facets of a design. Designs that best exemplified the theme were chosen for the Good Design Best 100 Special Exhibition.
Freshly foraged from former eyewear giant H.L. Bouton's funkiest new-old-stock archive, these safety glasses are still practical and hip as the day is long. Impress everybody in your shop class with your OG safety. Large lenses protect your eyeballs from intruders and the crushing boredom of contemporary style.
Choose from sweet fades, neon frames, and retro shapes but rest assured all of these babies are ANSI Z87.1-2010 certified.
Available Now from Hand-Eye Supply $5.00 - $20.00
Core77's Hand-Eye Supply Curiosity Club is back for 2014. Tonight's exciting presentation is from furniture maker Amanda Wall-Graf of HENO Shop.
Tonight's talk starts at 6pm at the Hand-Eye Supply store in Portland, Oregon. Come early and check out our space or check in with us online for the live broadcast!
HENO: "The Power of the Hustle: Passion, Community and Creativity in a Town Where You're a Dime a Dozen"
23 NW 4th Ave
Portland, Oregon 97209
Tuesday, Feb. 11th, 6pm PST
The season of sparkling snow, stress and singing Santa figurines is here! In between the food and the familial feuding, we hope you'll find time to show your loved ones you support their creative aims. At Hand-Eye Supply we think a good gift sparks excitement about the object and the way you'll use it. We've gathered some especially inspiring objects for the shop, the studio, the campsite and the home. Who they're gifted to (or hoarded by) is up to you, but we guarantee they're all nicely made, satisfying to hold and ready to fit a creative lifestyle.
Check out the Hand-Eye Gift Collection Here!
Check out some of the collection stand outs after the jump.