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Archive for the ‘sustainablity’ Category

Max Schorr from GOOD magazine couldn’t help squeezing in one more meeting during our recent program on Design and Sustainability in Tokyo. He’s interested in space and how organizations use it to bring communities together. Fortunately for us, Masaaki Ikeda, the founder, was able to show us around the remarkable space that is Eco Plaza.

Mariko, Masaaki Ikeda, Max Schorr and Casey Caplowe (L to R)

Mariko, Masaaki Ikeda, Max Schorr and Casey Caplowe (L to R)

Inside EcoPlaza

Inside Eco Plaza

Sitting on a Naoto Fukasawa designed bench

Sitting on a Naoto Fukasawa designed bench

"more trees" benches are made from sustainability grown trees

"more trees" benches are made from sustainability grown trees

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Meeting at Muji

Meeting at Muji

Muji has started selling houses (Muji no Ie). The houses, which retail from 13 million yen and up depending on size, are designed by Kazuhiko Namba, famous for his “house of boxes”. Those curious to see the houses can go to Muji’s Yurakucho store, which carries all 7,500 of Muji’s products, including the “no-brand” houses. Muji is interested in sustainability.

Satoshi Yasui from Muji

Satoshi Yasui from Muji

“Our houses are made of wood and designed to last 100 years,” Mr. Satoshi Yasui, head of design planning at Muji, said. So far Muji has received orders for 200 of the houses, according to Ms. Maki Kobayashi, architect in charge of Muji no Ie. (Daniel Rosenblum)

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We met with Mr. Nao Suzuki, editor of greenz.jp. greenz.jp, a self-described media activism, sustainability think tank, visionary’s network , focuses on creative activism, green business, global affairs and sustainable community, both in Japan and worldwide.

greenz1

greenz.jp staff

The setting was the Lounge greenz, a laid-back loft-like restaurant bar with plenty of exposed wood and potted plants (and, ironically, a cigarette vending machine tucked away in one corner).

Mr. Suzuki was joined by Ms. Hiromi Matsubara, greenz.jp’s global relation’s manager and creative director Yoshihiro Kanematsu.

Over a lunch of rice, red beans and fish, Max, Casey and Valerie immediately connected the folks from greenz.jp.

greenlunch

Lunch!

“So far it’s fantastic,” Max said, commenting on his experience in Tokyo so far. “This last meeting we just did (with greenz.jp) was incredibly inspiring. It was great to see a parallel movement with regard to what we’re working for in the United States.”

Later on the bus on our way to meet Mr. Satoshi Yasui, head of design planning at Muji, Casey summed up his experience thusly: “It’s been really enjoyable to go around and meet and experience all these different people that have something in come with us. I’m starting to understand how this movement is interconnected and growing and coming to life.”

Valerie stressed the importance of face-to-face meetings.

“No matter how global you conceive of your self, there’s nothing like having conversations on terra firma in a real space to make you understand the context of your actions,” she said. (Daniel Rosenblum)

Like-minded people from US and Japan

Like-minded people from US and Japan

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Today marks the debut of Honda’s newest hybrid car, the Insight. Insight designer Takashi Nakura says the car was designed to be green and fun to drive.

“Designers at Honda think about not only design but the entire lifecycle of the car all the way through to sales and the end user,” Nakura says.

Honda’s “green machine” is not only sleek and cool looking but gets fuel economy of 30 kilometers to the liter, has 85 percent recycleability of parts and components, and 95 pct recovery of reusable materials.

And what is the most fun element of the green machine?

There are many, Nakura says.

Insight by Honda

Insight by Honda

“We have a game like feeling to this car. With our eco-assist system you play with the fuel efficiency of the car,” he says.

The car also monitors your driving ability with an onboard coaching system, helping drivers drive in an ecologically friendly way, Hidetoshi Kabayama, Insights interior designer says.

Coming to Honda dealerships in the United States in April.

(Daniel Rosenblum)

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Innovators Network member Ann Rutledge and Sylvain Raynes of R&R Consulting were featured in a segment of “NHK Special,” a “60 Minutes”-style public affairs program broadcast nationwide on Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK. NHK highlighted R&R’s innovative approach to finance and how they use principles of aerospace to prevent turbulence, or financial crises.

To read more about their appearance on NHK, please visit R&R Consulting’s website http://www.creditspectrum.com/.

Please note the program will be shown in the US on Sunday July 6th, at 10:02 PM EST on TV Japan channel. For a programming list, please visit http://www.tvjapan.net/en/img_pdf/jul1.pdf (English), or http://www.tvjapan.net/pro_list/?date=2008-07-02&area=22&TZ=0 (Japanese).

To subscribe to TV Japan in New Jersey, please visit: http://www.tvjapan.net/en/watching/cabletv_result.php?list=true&country=USA&
state=New+Jersey&cable_ip=C

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Keith Yamashita appears on CNBC’s series “The Business of Innovation,” a show about leadership, innovation, and the daring of some of the world’s most ambitious companies. This five-part series airs on Monday nights, starting June 2nd. Maria Bartiromo hosts the show, and Keith is one of the on-air thought leaders who interview CEOs and other innovators. The show features leaders from a number of Keith’s SYPartners’ clients, past and present, such as Nike, Starbucks, Herman Miller, Facebook, among many others. In filming the show, they talked with everyone from legendary leaders like Jack Welch and Howard Schultz to budding entrepreneurs at the Stanford Institute of Design, as well as Silicon Valley’s Randy Komisar, Nobel Laureate Muhummad Yunnis, FedEx CIO Rob Carter, hip-hop clothing moguls, and leaders of entire nations like Singapore. For the next five weeks, Keith will also be blogging about episodes and topics of the show at http://www.keithyamashita.com.

The show airs Mondays at 9pm Eastern time/6pm Pacific time. More information about the show can be read at http://innovation.cnbc.com/.

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Architecture for Humanity and UNICEF are working together to innovate schools and classrooms for children all over the world, scaling architectural innovation to a profound level. As of right now UNICEF and Architecture for Humanity are seeking design and engineering professional to help develop and build a number of educational facilities in West Africa. Their focus at the moment is in Liberia and Ivory Coast, but in the coming months they will look for candidates for Sierra Leone and Guinea. Working in partnership with local communities and the ministry of education, they will design and facilitate the building of two schools that will include alternative energy sources, water reclamation, connectivity, basic services, and play spaces.

In other Architecture for Humanity news, almost $35,000 has been raised for the rebuilding project for Myanmar/Burma since Cyclone Nargis slammed into the country’s southern tip. AFH has spoken with a number of in-country and ex-patriot designers about their strategy for long term rebuilding and have representatives on the ground in Rangoon. Given their available funding they’ve decided to assemble a design team that can focus on the rebuilding of one community that has been devastated by this horrific disaster. AFH is also giving preference to regionally based designers due to the high travel costs associated with getting into Myanmar.

Join hundreds of others and support AFH’s sustainable reconstruction effort, make a donation today by visiting: http://www.architectureforhumanity.org/donate

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