In the quest for good sleep, last year I saved up for a real Japanese futon. The real deal is thinner and fluffier than the ridiculously dense slabs that most Americans think of as futons, and I could only find one workshop in all of New York City that makes them the traditional way. In Japan futons are traditionally meant to be folded up each morning and placed in a closet, freeing up useable square footage in a space-tight country; thick American futons are impossible to fold at all.It was comfortable for about the first six months, like sleeping on a cloud, and then it progressively grew uncomfortably flatter. I remembered my time in Japan when I'd see housewives beating futons on their balconies on sunny afternoons with this unusual-looking rattan stick.
Further research revealed you're supposed to beat a real futon at least weekly, always outdoors (in case dust mites have gathered in the futon), and in direct sunlight, which is believed to kill any dusty bacteria that's gathered. Beating it both rids the futon of dust and re-fluffs it.
Not having a tennis racket or similar implement, I searched for a futon tataki, the beating stick pictured above, but unsurprisingly no one in the 'States seems to carry them. I then started looking for a traditional carpet beater, and every rug/carpet store I called treated me like I was crazy. (It is, after all, a Victorian-era implement; I might as well have been calling doctors asking if they could "leach" me.) Pottery Barn sold some fragile-looking ornamental ones that you hang on your wall, as did a boutique I found in SoHo, but both were ridiculously overpriced.
I finally found a traditional rattan carpet beater sold by Garrett Wade, a woodworking supply company, for just 20 bucks.
Hauling my futon up to the roof and rigging up a pole to hang it from was a chore, but worth it to beat the thing out--each blow produced surprisingly prodigious dust clouds. And now that it's refluffed I'm back to blissful slumber, but not sure if I can keep this up every week. A real Japanese futon is way more comfortable than the other kind, but it's a lot more maintenance, too.
A desktop CNC milling machine can be a practical addition to your prototyping or small-scale fabrication operations.
3D modeling has been a part of the profession of industrial design since before computers were even conceived.
With so many online learning platforms out there, it can be hard as a designer to decipher where to go...
We are building this list as a resource for designers who are looking for a starting point in picking a...
In the 1990s 3D printing was adopted by forward-looking design studios for prototyping – it was not widespread though for...
Community driven, engineering oriented, detailed and aesthetic, 3D printing oriented, royalty-free, paid, free.
Technology can be a great help when it comes to organizing your research on an ongoing project or in new...
Don't have an account? Join Now
Create a Core77 Account
Already have an account? Sign In
Please enter your email and we will send an email to reset your password.
Whom did you buy it from? How much was it?
By creating an empty-space, it allows for limitless potential of reasons for the room's existence. It could become a tea room, dinner room, bedroom, entertainment room... the empty room creates "potential" to be any room. Traditional rooms in Japan (which are becoming rare) often have nothing that is permanent, even the "walls" or fusuma, slide away to create a larger expansive empty-space. The people, wall, furniture, and artwork, enter and then leave the room, to return it to empty-space, full of potential. This philosophy can often be seen in many parts of the country, from objects to culture, to even an international company like Muji ("Mu" meaning "empty" or "absence" with a hint of "tranquility" and "potential". That would be the closest translation in English. )
Next time you're in Japan, look for things that you cannot see, the potential in the absence.
I don't know you, but I'm excited about your experience with a Japanese futon. It might change your lifestyle but it might also change the way you perceive everything around you in this American life.