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The Lowercase - A Tokyo Adventure

2nd February, 2011
Jenny Butler
Wednesday 2nd February 2011

Today Tess and Michael take us on an adventure to Tokyo! As they tour this amazing city, they point out to us all kinds of different horizons. I'm starting to get the feeling that The Lowercase is a pretty exciting place to be! - Jenny x

Ciao! Today at The Lowercase studio we revisit a very literal part of the journey, a Tokyo work adventure. The city of all things wise, weird and wonderful.

As it is impossible to navigate all sources of inspiration from this all-encompassing city, we have fine-tuned The Lowercase lens on that creative equilibrium between vertical and horizontal forces - Horizons. Here we take a look at the unconventional horizon-line: the alluring, the impossible, the hand-crafted, the manufactured, all admirable and precarious states of art.

The ultimate mood-creator, a horizon can re-establish our place in the world. Our First Stop is Shibuya’s famous “scramble crossing” which allows pedestrians to cross in any direction, from any angle, so the entire area is often completely inundated. At eye-level the horizon is merely a mass of heads: a thinking, living, dynamic horizon traveling with us or by us & leading the way forward. A lesson in perspective for any creative team!

Occasionally horizon-watching happens when you least expect it. Japan's obsessive attention to the tiniest of detail is something to be constantly admired. So our Second Stop is Hand-made Horizons: A paper-mountain-side offers pedestrians a side-walk sanctuary; A neatly assembled timber village is a refreshingly stark horizon-line in a city that tops 12 million (although we're a little concerned re: proportions of scale... that duck may just require a house of it’s own).

Hand-made objects are incomparable to items of mass-production in that they have the ability to convey a distinct expressive quality. Their design is 100% completely original and therefore their beauty is absolute.

In search of the real thing again... we are pleasantly rewarded by the imagined horizon. This Agnès b. Voyage facade offers an ironic promise, of both movement and mystery, through a manufactured horizon. Full of contradiction it is a horizon that is subject to the demands of it’s surrounds. Our Third Stop also considers another manufactured (interior) horizon, freshly served from a Tokyo food-court... where else? Here the horizon, becomes an object. An object of vision: A sight to be seen.

And we could not depart Tokyo, without considering the horizon of modernity. Symbolic of the luxurious products they hold and the influence their global brands demand, gazing at these sky-scraping-boutiques is a guilty pleasure! The architectural reflections and shadows even signal creative thought. The most inspirational thing about any horizon? They always speak of the future. And we'll see you there tomorrow.

Love from The Lowercase x

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email