“DesignTide Tokyo is a trade show of ideas. Interiors, interior products, architecture, graphics, textiles, fashion,... anything that is given shape and relates to the way we live our daily lives is a product of design. Regardless of the typology, all design has continued and arrived at this point as a way to make our lives better. All design may make a contribution to society, but not all design can easily agree on the question of form. The presenting of ideas out of which shapes are born, getting the ideas to move about ﬂuidly, allowing new ideas and shapes to be developed,... DesignTide Tokyo is a place where these kinds of ideas are traded.”
DesignTide Tokyo was started in 2005. Its board of directors is formed from professionals active in various design-related industries, from store owners and furniture manufacturers to graphicdesigners and editors of book collections. Each year DesignTide receives several hundred applications to exhibit at its main exhibition space, “Tide Exhibition”; of these, approximately 30 are chosen. Selected work is, in most cases, completely new and has never been shown at any other venue. The interior of the “Tide Exhibition” space is conceived anew each year, with a Japanese designer or architect creating a space that is as much a part of the design exhibition as the works on display. In addition to the main exhibition, there is also “Tide Market” (DesignTide’s “museum shop” where visitors can interact directly with designers and purchase their products) and “Tide Extension” (a series of off-site exhibitions at galleries, shops and showrooms around Tokyo). This year, 2 new components have been added: “Tide Focus”, which invites a small number of designers to come show their work at DesignTide, and “Tide Table”, a series of talks with designers, architects, journalists and other industry professionals.
TIDE EXHIBITION As DesignTide's main exhibition site, Tide Exhibition aims to bring together designers, manufacturers, buyers and journalists and provide them with a place to present and exchange innovative products and ideas. Among the work by the over 30 selected participants are: (1) a collection of porcelain and glassware items by a quartet of designers - Motoji Igarashi, Masahiro Ishikawa, Yota Kakuda and Yuichi Kobayashi; (2) a series of objects by Rabbit Hole, includining an apple-shaped pencil sharpener; (3) Swiss designer Colin Chaelli's set of knock-down timber furniture that can be locally produced in any country; (4) compact furinture by Design Soil; and (5) items by Kanazawa-based designer ofﬁce Asaraya mixing contemporary design with traditional Japanese production techniques.
TIDE FOCUS New this year, DesignTide has established an ofﬁcial section within its main exhibition for inviting young participants from Japan and overseas. This year DesignTide invites Vahakn Matossian (London), Mika Tolvanen (Helsinki) and Daito Manabe (Tokyo). Matossian will present his urban society-driven project "Fruitscity", which aims to bring visitors' attention to the wealth of nature that exists in their urban environments. It promotes initiatives for developing natural features in cities and includes a mapping project as well as recipes and tools for making use of fruits.
INTERIOR DESIGN DIRECTION DesignTide makes signiﬁcant efforts to convert the halls at Tokyo Midtown into a space amenable to a design exhibition. To that end, this year designer Sosuke Nakabo provides direction for the space's overall interior design. Nakabo is a graduate of the Royal College of Art. He worked with Jasper Morrison in London and has designed products with Muji and Panasonic. He describes his concept for the space as recognizing it as a place to "see" and "show"; Nakabo says the ﬁrst order of business is lighting.
TIDE MARKET A marketplace within Tide Exhibition, "Tide Market" presents opportunities for new encounters, offering visitors the chance to interact directly with designers and purchase their innovative products. Among the work from Tide Market's 12 participants are: (1) ceramics with unusual tactile ﬁnishes by Yard Design; (2)ﬂoral ceramics designed by fashion brand Theatre Products for manufacturer Kyoritsu Toki; and (3) a series of conceptual bookmarks by Cement Produce Design.
TIDE EXTENSION DesignTide Tokyo serves as a platform for exhibitions at venues throughout Tokyo; the entirety of Tokyo offering itself as a space to present new designs. (Check the DesignTide guide booklet for details on exhibition locations.) DesignTide's off-site exhibitions "Tide Extension" include approximately 30 sites and projects, such as: (1) a new collection of chairs ("Love Chairs") from the department store Isetan by designers from Finland and Japan, including Eero Aarnio, Ilkka Suppanen, Akira Minagawa and Katsuji Wakasaki; (2) the "Story Vase" by Front for Cibone; (3) Babaghuri's "handmade lamps" made with stones, beaten copper, knit silk,...; (4) department store Mitsukoshi presentation of products from Japan that use of traditional production techniques; (5) Souvenir From Tokyo's ceramic items for tea time; and (6) products developed through a collaboration between students of the Academy of Art, Architecture and Design (Prague) and 3 Czech manufacturers.