Design Magazine AXIS Vol.223 on Sale May 1 !


Design Magazine AXIS  Vol.223 on Sale May 1 !


Creativity is not born without a cultural foundation.
Kyoto, where various cultures have developed through a 1,200-year history, has constantly attracted creative human resources and supported new industrial and general activities as the center of Japanese culture. Its mutual aid system called the dannashu culture ("gentlemen's culture") for example, has been attracting attention as a start-up support in which elder business managers lend a hand to young entrepreneurs.A tolerance for diverse cultures and values that forms an environment where people can inspire each other cannot be overlooked as an appeal Kyoto has fostered. The artisanship culture has facilitated the development of refined skills and sensibilities that does not tolerate imitations, and has brought a unique cultural climate and vitality to this city. With this cultural foundation as background, we examine a creativity unique to Kyoto that brings vigor to the city through "Kyoto's charm that draws in people and things" as well as "the new designs and endeavors born of it." 

The cultural salons that come alive in the modern age

KYOTO, that has long been a hub for cultural figures, is almost as if it were a salon itself. In a city where tradition fuses with innovation, we visited two salon-like venues that meet the needs of the modern age: the ZENBI KAGIZEN ART MUSEUM at Kagizen Yoshifusa, a long-established Japanese confectionary, and the Ryosokuin Temple, one of the sub-temples of Kennin-ji. The Japanese confectionary and the temple with a long history are also places of creation where contemporary artists interact and produce new works of art.

The secret of Books Ogaki:
How it continues to be loved by Kyotoites

Books Ogaki, which runs about 40 stores mainly in the Kyoto area, opened Horikawa New Cultural Bldg. in 2021, featuring a bookstore, a printing studio, a café, and a gallery. Although it may sound like just another example of a typical bookstore, there is in fact, a very different intention behind it. We explored what makes this bookstore so lovable.

The Design Science Foundation
―Scientifically unraveling design and creating venues for "emergence"

A press conference was held at the office of NAOTO FUKASAWA DESIGN in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo in March this year. While the press expected it would be an announcement of product designer Fukasawa's new work, the actual content was quite unexpected. It was the establishment of the general incorporate

Boundaries and limits of architecture expanded by Clouds AO

It will be impossible to reflect all of an architect's ideals in real structures. Nevertheless, it has been humankind's rich imagination that has expanded the limits of architecture. Clouds AO is an ambitious team of architects that attempts to break down that antagonistic situation. Here's a peek at their innovative projects and the passion behind them.

Sci Tech File
Goethe, Haeckel, and Godzilla...
What human beings have seen in the forms of animals (+ monsters)

What processes have we and the various other living things on this Earth gone through to acquire such exquisite and unbelievable forms? There are two answers to this question. One is from the perspective of "development" and the other is that from the perspective of "evolution." We talked with Shigeru Kuratani, team leader researcher at the Laboratory for Evolutionary Morphology, Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research, RIKEN that has been reflecting on the history of biology and questioning the significance of connecting developmental processes with evolutionary processes.

A stance that begins in beauty

There must be "something" that was forgotten in the process of developing a city centered around human beings. I visited places in the Tohoku region (north-east Japan) that possesses a harsh nature and a unique "fringe" culture in an attempt to find clues to future design from what has been forgotten there.

For purchase