Arup has been selected by Icon Magazine and the Design Association, Tokyo, to exhibit at the international Container Exhibition of this year’s Tokyo Designer’s Week. Arup designers, Tristan Simmonds and Jennifer Greitschus have transformed a shipping container into a sushi bar with a twist – a postcard bar. Their design, entitled ‘Envois’, presents food for thought from Arup’s ‘Drivers of Change 2006’ publication.
Drivers of Change is an initiative of Arup’s Foresight and Innovation team, a group tasked with exploring emerging trends and how they impact upon the business of Arup and its clients. Earlier in the year Arup published a set of 50 cards which identify leading factors that will affect our future – ageing population, energy use, outsourcing, to name but a few – factors which are known as ‘drivers of change’.
The concept for Envois was developed in response to this year’s exhibition theme of love. ‘Envois’, which loosely translates as ‘message’, is taken from the title of a work by the French philosopher, Jacques Derrida, which includes a series of postcards Derrida wrote to an unnamed lover.
With digitally controlled lighting, designed by Arup’s Francesco Anselmo, the container is transformed into a seductive space bathed in red and pink. Postcards bearing messages in English and Japanese rotate around the bar. Visitors will be able to take a seat on one of the specially designed heart-shaped stools and pick a postcard that appeals to them. They will also have the opportunity to write their own postcard – perhaps a letter to the world, a letter to a lover or maybe a note to the handsome stranger on the opposite side of the bar. Students from Nihon University will act as bar staff, changing and restocking the postcards as necessary.
Jennifer Greitschus says: ”We liked the idea of exploring human communication and jumbling contexts: the global and the personal, high-tech and low-tech, East and West. There is something interesting about putting powerful messages in an intimate setting. The Drivers of Change cards may trigger conversation – who knows where that may lead.”
Tokyo Designer’s Week: 100% Design Tokyo is a unique celebration of the power of good design. Designers, corporations, schools, embassies and the media gather together for six days of exhibitions, talks, installations and parties. Arup’s ENVOIS container is one of five winning containers designs to feature as part of ICON Magazine’s celebration at Designer’s Week.
Supported by: Alex Engineering Co Ltd, Design Association NPO, Japan
Sponsoring manufacturers: Xela Corporation Ltd (conveyor), Targetti (lighting), Tony Corporation (fabric), Takiron Co Ltd (polycarbonate)
The Drivers of Change 2006 cards can be purchased via the Drivers of Change website. Price: £19.95 Published by Editorial Gustavo Gili.