Monday, August 21, 2006

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The knight of thimbles

Got this Japanese thimble yesterday. Super deluxe.

Reminds me of a knight’s armour. Or medieval torture device.

click to enlarge
What makes it deluxe:
* built-in fingernail
* airflow opening for no-sweat comfort
* grippy inside surface
* adjustable girth
(Note the Litte House logo quietly peeking out on the left)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Vintage ads

The mosquitoes around me have been on a feeding frenzy.

Looking for a cure for insect bites, I remembered this photo-illustration I did as part of a series of 12 (as “Happy 2006/Greetings from Japan” gifts to friends back home). These are based on snapshots I have taken in Japan.

Unlike in Tokyo, where billboard space is at a premium, small towns seem to keep their advertising up much longer. The mosquito lotion ad (above) was taken in the middle of winter, in a town with one main street.

An ad for a “genki” drink, silkscreened on metal, rusting in a rather inconvenient place.

Would ad execs allow this in the city?
A rain pipe obscures this man’s trilby as well as the product he’s advertising.
Not to worry, we can still see the logo...

Sticker for Asahi draft, peeling off the side of a cart.

This man is obviously violating the rules of propriety. The pointing finger chastises his behaviour as ”BAD!” and warns that ”this is not a toilet.”
Snapped in a Tokyo subway station.

Note: This entry was inspired by the people at pingmag.

Collecting th’ rezidents/OOITO trading cards

Thought I should add a bit more info about collecting th’ rezidents trading cards from

As with the trading cards you get with bubble gum, you don’t know what you’ll get until you open the package. The characters arrive in random pairs.

Scroll over the characters in the top left corner of the screen.
Click on the speech bubbles to download the PDFs.
Reload the page to collect them all.

Note: OOITO website by Hiroaki Ito. For more of his work, visit

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Looking for space @ 100% Design Tokyo

One of the organizers at 100% Design Tokyo, Hiromi Arima, checked out my website and contacted me recently to tell me about the event. I went last year and would love to participate this year, but the exhibition fees are a bit high for me at this point as an independent designer. Now I’m trying to find a way to exhibit some furniture or lighting as part of a group show, or in a space off the main site (maybe in a cafĂ©, shop or gallery).

If you have any suggestions or know a place which could be suitable, I would be happy to hear from you. Please email me.


Deco editor Angela Molfeta in Athens asked for high res images of my Uni lights and Hello Jello sofa for publication in a magazine supplement to Proto Thema. My first inquiry from Greece!

Design writer Trina Thawley featured Uni lights in ”The Goods” section of Tokyo Metropolis (July 14, 2006).

Writer/editor Takafumi Suzuki recommended me for the Creators’ Works section in AXIS Magazine (March/April 2006).

Design and pop culture writer (and fellow Canadian) Jean Snow introduced me to MocoLoco readers in February.

And back in 2004, editors/writers at ELLE DECO Japan and Design Reform included Uni lights in articles about TDB-CE and urban renewal in east end Tokyo.

Jurors awarded Uni lights an Honourable Mention for Concepts in
ID Magazine’s 50th Annual Design Review.

Writer/translator/web publisher Kazue Daikoku published a web review of my work at in 2003.

Thank you for your kind support!

The recent spike of interest in Uni lights makes me think of the social epidemics described in Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point. I just read this book a few weeks ago, and his theories keep popping back into mind. Interesting and well-written.

Ready. Set. Sew.

My sewing machine has arrived. Thanks to Yuko for making it happen!
th’ rezidents will soon take on a new form in 3D.

th’ rezidents for OOITO

th’ rezidents are the residents of our alter-egos – a little glimpse of our secret and not-so-secret selves. Which one are you?

The first series of 13 were designed for the launch of a new streetwear brand, OOITO "functional urbanwear© from Japan." Featured on trading cards, stickers, hangtags, shopping bags and t-shirts.

Please visit to download the full set of trading cards and to find out more about OOITO.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Inside the nest

Hello! I've decided to start this blog to offer a little peek of new work and happenings while my website ( is under construction.
Stay tuned.