Five years ago, when we linked to the online archives of WET, ‘the magazine of gourmet bathing’ (via an throw-away reference to this hip late 70s publication by Stephen Bayley), we noted that it was one of those ‘things that exist on the fringes of Google’. Now it has been foregrounded, with the publication of Making WET: The Magazine of Gourmet Bathing, a glossy retrospective in the same mould as Taschen’s lavish repackaging of now-defunct magazines. There are no longer any fringes / another re-visit from that immediate past, the design disease, NDG’s painstaking observation of the design fails and wins in his immediate environment.
Architect Naoki Terada runs a sideline creating eccentric architectural models at Terada Mokei. They include dress-up stickers for architectural models (‘perfect for architects who want to proceed with meetings in a friendly atmosphere, or those in charge of modeling who wish to escape from reality due to overwork…. Including: Businessmen, office ladies, high-school students, high school girls (sailor suit, blazer), delivery of soba shops, supporters, policemen, rescue team, parcel delivery men and so on.’), drinks coasters, beautifully detailed models of commuter trains, Tokyo streetscenes and many more (via Fubiz)
Sou Fujimoto’s House NA reduces the domestic sphere down to a piece of furniture, a cabinet of curiosities where the contents are the occupants, rather than objects. The Japanese house has always been something of a fetish for Western architects, even more so in the age of Archdaily, Designboom and Dezeen and their ilk, serving up beautiful packages of domestic harmony from around the world, arranged in thumbnail galleries like elaborate pieces of sushi. This house offers a full scale version of Terada Mokei’s little domestic spheres. What’s rarely captured is the relative transience of the Japanese house, an object that might last 25 years or so, as opposed to the typical European equivalent. That sense of impermanence allows for a spirit of experimentation and a lightness of form. The security of bricks and mortar is an alien concept when faced with a house so diaphanous that humans seem to live on it, rather than in it.