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Created in Holland, seen in Tokyo

Our correspondent at Tokyo Designers Week, Paul van Horn takes us on a tour of the Dutch stand 'Created in Holland' which won best stand at 100% Design Tokyo.

By No author / 05-11-2008

13 Dutch designers, 5 days, 1 city

At the third edition of 100% Design Tokyo which was held from 30 October until 3 November, the bright yellow/white booth of 'Created in Holland', designed by Laurens van Wieringen, was a huge success. In fact, the stand won the award for best stand at the international design trade show.

The response of Japanese visitors to 'Created in Holland' was one of curiosity and hesitation – they almost had to be taken by the hand and shown the design, its purpose and concept, and the products. Take for instance the modular cabinet made by self-educated Michel Doyer (Studio MDFD). The moment he opened the cabinet it immediately drew the attention of visitors. Covered with different fabrics, the doors can be replaced while the core of the furniture stays intact.
Alexander Pelikan (Pelidesign) presented his Clicfurniture which is inspired by Japanese traditional wood connections. Visitors were attracted by the simple and recognizable design and the clicsystem.
The products of The Cottage Industry attracted a lot of attention. Small and simple but with a twist, at first glance they looked ordinary but a closer look revealed a unique detail.
Senz Umbrellas, the company that reinvented the umbrella doesn't need much introduction here. Senz has been represented in Japan since November last year. 'During one of our trips abroad we found the umbrella in an in-flight magazine', tells Masato Otani, manager of Marcs*, the company that sells the product in Japan. A few days prior to the show, Senz received the 'Deshima Award', a special prize from the Dutch Chamber of Commerce in Japan. The company was recognised for their efforts to gain a foothold in the Japanese market.
Next to Senz was Draag!Design, a range of computer bags made of a specially developed 3D-textile and are thus suitable to protect the laptop.
For Sander Luske it was the second time he presented his ceramics at 100% Design Tokyo. A Japanese manufacturer showed some interested in one of his designs and might bring it to the Japanese market. Luske is determined to return to Japan next year, hoping to do some research on product/material.

The aim of Tuttobene, the organiser, is to emphasize issues in design like sustainability, innovation and commercial potential. XO+, a joint label by Janske Megens and Celia Suzanne Sluijter certainly appeal to this. Made by women in different parts of Nepal, their collection has a poverty elevation target and supports fair business improvement. Also Wemade, a label from More than Hip is a Fair Trade-project. Here Dutch design is paired with Indonesian craftspeople resulting in a series of lifestyle products. The goal is to increase the economic independence of the Indonesian people who were victims of the Bantul earthquake in 2006. Krejci presented a range of bags and accessories made from old tubes of abandoned bicycles. The material is washed and assembled in social workshops in Europe. Hektik.cc is a duo that designs clothing like T-shirts and baby clothes and small accessories with powerful characters. Manufactured 'sweat shop free', their opinion is that each person in the production process should be treated fair and square. Gewoon also uses social workshops to manufacture their 100% woollen products like bright coloured cushions with contemporary motifs. Picked up and touched by many visitors the felt bag was quite appealing to the Japanese, as were the cushions with printed cats designed by illustrator/designer Astrid van den Brink (ATTI). Next to Gewoon Marianne Kemp presented her products woven from horsehair.

It was the third year that a broad range Dutch Designers were represented at 100% Design Tokyo. The prize for best stand was the icing on the cake for everyone involved.

Premsela, Dutch platform for design and fashion, initiated the project with the Dutch Embassy in Japan and the Dutch Agency for International Business and Cooperation. Producer: Tuttobene.

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