The watches that made up the Seiko Power Design Project 2008, created by Naoto Fukasawa and his design team, were inspired by “Tokyo.” Each of the 12 watches was named after a different area of Japan’s largest city. For example, the watch pictured above was inspired by the Yoyogi district, located in northern Tokyo, a place popular with youth. Turns out “Tokyo Design” was a hot global design trend last year, as evident in an article in the current issue of GQ magazine.
The January 2009 issue of GQ, the USA edition, features a two-page article on “Tokyo Design.”
The article mentions Fukasawa and his Plus Minus Zero design studio. The red doughnut-shaped humidifier featured on the page shown below is one of his designs.
Fukasawa wrote that the Seiko Power Design Project watches are “industrial designs,” and have the Japanese characteristic of “attention to details.” I suppose that gives a hint as to the meaning of “Tokyo Design.”
Maybe the best way to get a feeling for “Tokyo Design” is to look at many examples of interior goods — furniture, clocks, stationary — that are it’s most abundant expression. The Google Maps link below has links to many stores in the heart of Tokyo that sell items in the Tokyo Design category.
Tokyo Design Shop Guide by Johnny (click on links on left side of Google Maps page — popup windows appears and many contain links to store websites)
Below, a map of the Tokyo subway system created in the Tokyo Design style by ZeroPerZero studio in Tokyo.
When a mainstream publication like GQ catches on to a trend, it’s probably at least reached it’s mid-point of popularity. Back to watches, it’ll be interesting to see what theme, and what kind of designs, the Seiko Power Design Team come up with in 2009! Their work has been an inspiration for Seiko so far, incorporated into many models already, with several complete designs put into actual production last year.