Even if you’re not familiar with Japanese Chōchin lamps by name, it’s likely you’ll recognize the traditional spherical form composed of a spiraling, collapsible bamboo frame wrapped in paper that protects a flame (or, in modern times, an electric bulb). A few years ago, after a monthlong journey through Japan, London-based designer Anthony Dickens set about mining the rich history of these lightweight lanterns for a new take on the country’s millennia-old fixtures.
Dickens is, of course, not the first to turn his attention east for illumination inspiration. “Like many people in the U.K., my first exposure to this style ultimately came from Isamu Noguchi,” he tells Co.Design; Noguchi’s iconic Akari light sculptures popularized the ethereal artform in the 1950s while simultaneously revitalizing the original manufacturing methods. “Then there were those offered in Terence Conran’s Habitat shop, and the thousands of cheap and appallingly made imitations that sell in many design stores. When I saw the genuine articles in Japan I was amazed at the skill and sensitivity of the craftsmanship. There’s something magical in the transformation of paper and bamboo into these beautiful, light-diffusing, voluminous shapes.”
Rather than simply mimic what came before, Dickens saw potential for a new evolution. “When I realized that the inherent concertinaed structure could be bent and manipulated–enabling new shapes and enhancing the function through modularity, while creating light that could divide and designate space–I became incredibly excited,” he says. Developing prototypes became a self-directed project for his studio, which generally focuses on client-based work, and he booked an exhibition space especially to display the Slinky-like results of that R&D.
Tekiō–Japanese for “adaptation”–stretches the oft-stout Chōchin into a winding, curving series of functional installations. The effect is a unique mix of airiness, with their warm, almost cloud-like glow, and industrial–were the material something more opaque and metallic, it’s not difficult to imagine these as some kind of surrealist HVAC unit.
Dickens has been tinkering with and perfecting Tekiō for almost two years now, during which time nearly everything about the product–save for the Tosa Washi paper and bamboo–has changed, he says. And while Tekiō is currently available for custom commissions, this creative pursuit is far from complete: “I still don’t consider the process to be finished!”
For the person who has everything and wants to make sure that no one walks off with it, German safe manufacturer Döttling has created with the Fortress. Billed as the “safest luxury safe in the world,” the Fortress is available in a number of bespoke configurations and Döttling says it can be certified for insurance coverage of up to US$1,000,000.
One configuration includes eight watch winders for those with a taste for expensive timepieces. These operate on specially designed software and each winder can be individually controlled to rotate left or right or oscillate. Above the main safe are two individual Colosimo safes with six more precision watch rotators.
If winding watches isn’t enough, the Fortress also has a humidor drawer made of Spanish cedar with its own electronic humidifying system. Outside the safe are hygrometer and barometer readouts built by Wempe to keep tabs on the state of your Cohiba Robustos..
The Fortress does try to soften its image with an exterior upholstered with calfskin, though it doesn’t do much to hide that fact that it is a very serious safe.
The Fortress is available in the certified security classes VdS/EN 3 to VdS/EN 5 – Döttling describes the latter as “absolutely unique.” Only ten will be built for each security class and different configurations and color combinations are available upon request. No price is quoted.
I thought we’d close out the week with something a little lighthearted. As many of you already know, 500px is a great website to not only share your latest photos, but to also get inspired. For us, it’s a place to discover talented photographers. We’ve found some of our very favorite animal photographers from this site including ones we’ve shared with your right here at My Modern Met. Who could forget Japan-based Ben Torode and his adorably cute kitten, Daisy, or Russia-based Nikolai Zinoviev and his incredibly awesome photos of bears?
Today, we decided to bring together some of our very favorite animal photos from 500px. In continuing our series of the hilarious and the heartwarming (see snow dogs and dog portraits), we bring you these sweet storytelling shots. While some, like the one above, only come with simple captions, others are accompanied with a great backstory.
For What, no butter OR salt (immediately below), photographer Barb D’Arpino writes on her500px page, “We had fastened a cob of corn on a snag for the birds to enjoy. We sat down to dinner and out of the corner of my eye I noticed movement on the corn. Imagine my surprise when I saw Eleanor stuffing her cheeks with kernels until she looked ready to explode. It didn’t take her long to strip the cob. Grabbed my camera, snapped a few pictures and the rest is history :+)”
Above Photo credit: Manuela Kulpa
Kitten Observes Transit of Bubble
I like to move it!
Who’s Got The Baddest Daddy Of Them All?
He went that way…
Curiosity or wariness?
and in today’s news…
Oh no, it’s a ghost!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla; mix until they are fully incorporated. Add flour mixture, and beat until just combined.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Transfer dough to a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, and press to flatten, covering bottom of pan. Bake until edges are brown and top is golden, 40 to 45 minutes. Don’t overbake; it will continue to cook a few minutes out of the oven. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, 15 to 20 minutes. Cut into 8 wedges. Serve warm; top each wedge with a scoop of ice cream and some caramel sauce.