Maybe you have seen this already? Comic artist Shu Kuge made this map showing how the ocean connects Tokyo and San Francisco. For my first business website thirteen years ago, Shu drew a very memorable office map and staff avatars. I am lucky that he has created something new for Social Models, my new design research studio that is co-located in these two great port cities.
Omotesando Koffee の小さな花瓶。
Tokyo Green Spaceと平行して、私が関わっている仕事を紹介させてください。デザイン人類学者として、コンサルティングをしています。会社名は、SOCIAL MODELS「ソーシャル・モデルズ」。クライアントの多くが企業・大学・芸術機関です。最新のホームページを立ち上げました。東京とヨーロッパで活躍するデザイナー、ルイス・メンドにデザインしてもらいました。ホームページには、リサーチの視点が写真と一緒に紹介されています。是非、寄ってください！
As many of you know, my “day job” is as a design anthropologist working with corporations, universities, and arts organizations. Recently, I re-formed my thirteen year consulting company as Social Models. Thanks to the amazing designer, Tokyo resident Luis Mendo, the new site’s images combine my love of photography and offbeat urban stories to show how design research rests on close observation and makes new opportunities visible. I can’t thank Luis enough for his skills at helping me communicate my passion for research and design in Tokyo and San Francisco.
「私たちの田んぼを見ましたか」と聞かれました。畳屋のオーナーは歩道に置いたバケツで稲を育てています。Shibaura HouseのKanto Tour Guideの途中で偶然に会いました。家の畳を変えようかと考えています。
On Shibaura House’s Kanto Tour Guide in Suginami, we saw an open door and a man making tatami mats above the garage. The friendly proprietor of Haketa Tatami shop in Shin Koenji told us that his family has had this business in Suginami for decades, starting with his father. In addition to showing us his craftsmanship, he asked us whether we had seen his “rice field.” It’s in the white bucket, to the left of the shop sign.
I also learned that tatami mats should be changed every 3 or 4 years. Ours are coming up on 6 years, so maybe it’s time to order a new set?
Shibaura Houseの依頼で、Kanto Tour Guideの杉並ツアーを書きました。先週、そのツアーを実際に一緒に歩いてみました。最初にとんきという一番好きなトンカツ屋で昼食を食べました。Kanto Tour Guideについては、こちらへどうぞ。
Shibaura House asked 10 foreigners living in Kanto to design half day and one day tours, primarily for Japanese to re-discover their country with a new perspective. I wrote a short guide for Suginami, starting with my favorite Higashi Koenji tonkatsu restaurant named Tonki. Shibaura House even made a small tour group flag. I think the chef was surprised by our visit. Afterwards, we visited Amp Coffee, cookie shop Steka & Mojl, Kuge Crafts (手仕事屋久家), and the Suginami Childrens’ Traffic Park near Zenpukuji river.
Blue Lug という幡ヶ谷の自転車の店は、４周年記念を代々木公園で祝いました。今、お店は私が７年前にサンフランシスコで買った自転車をオーバーホールしてくれています。楽しみにしています。
Congratulations on four years, Blue Lug. The Hatagaya shop is overhauling my 7 year old Sully bike that I brought from San Francisco. Amazingly, the bike repair guys know Freewheel, the store on Valencia Street where I bought it. They confirmed that Freewheel, and not me personally, had originally assembled the bike.
Ikebana International asked me to write about Tokyo street gardens and share my photos for their member-supported publication that dates back to 1956. Thanks to the editor Kim Schuefftan for allowing me to reach a very different garden audience. I am curious what Ikebana International and Tokyo Green Space readers think about the article, Tokyo Street Gardens: Unrecognized Beauty (7 page PDF, 1.4 MB). Volume 58, Issue 2, pp 24-30. 2014.
This fall I started going to the farmers market every week. Usually by bike, and sometimes meeting my friend Luis. This beautifully arranged stall is where I stop first to pick up turnips, carrots with their leaves still attached, green and red peppers, yuzu, lemons, celery, and sweet potatoes. At United Nations University farmers market, in Aoyama, which is open every Saturday and Sunday.