Design Festa Japan

Design Festa

Design Festa, held it’s 30th volume at the Tokyo Big Site this past weekend. Tokyo Made jumped head first into the colorful mess.

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The biannual art event, largest of it’s kind in Asia, refers to itself as “Artistic Chaos”. This is an accurate description. With contributors and visitors from all around the world, the Tokyo Big Site was a sea of crafty creations, colorful art, thousands of stalls, live shows, live painting, food, fun and entertainment.

cosplay 3 at Design Festa
Roving Entertainment – always ready to pose for the camera.

Crowds of art lovers, fashion admirers, fans and people simply looking to be inspired streamed through the aisles of thousands of booths set up by artists, crafters and entertainers. With limited time we scanned up and down each aisle mostly in search of the latest and greatest but also keeping a look out for the Tokyo Made creators that were displaying and selling their pieces.

Seimani at Design Festa
Design Festa Regular – Seimani and his spotty tees.

We met Seimani at a Design Festa many years ago. He is a great success at the events, selling a wide variety of hand printed tees. This time he had many sample pieces on sale for ¥1000. A bargain.

Cases by Fu at Design Festa
Recycled Fabrics – cases by Fu using traditional fabrics.

Many creators set up stalls similar to this one displaying Fu cases and bags. Others go wild with over the top fortresses housing Samurai or collaborations taking up half of an aisle to showcase their pieces in a shop like fashion.

Toco at Design Festa
Toco Monsters – colorful monsters captured attention.

Toys, dolls and figurines grow in popularity with each event. The new Monjack monsters along with their Toco Junk cousins were stars of the show. While standing chatting to the designers for no longer than two minutes more than five monsters were snapped up by excited fans. Visitors defintiely come to Design Festa to shop.

cosplay 2 at Design Festa
Body and Face – a professional make up booth at Design Festa.

Design Festa is a space where all forms of art and expression are encouraged. The crowd was wowed by the results of a day long make up session at a booth run by a stage make up school. Colorful and inspiring to say the least.

Design Festa is held over two days, a Saturday and Sunday. If you truly wanted to see, do and absorb everything we think you need a whole week. Although the event is only two days there is a Design Festa Gallery in the back streets of Harajuku which is always worth checking out and when you get hungry after all that art spotting you can duck into the famous okonomiyaki place, Sakuratei, that is tucked right behind the gallery.

For more information on Design Festa check out their site. The next Design Festa will be held in May 2010. Want to apply for a space or time slot? Go on, express yourself!

Deanne Tonking & Masao Tamaoki About the Author

Deanne Tonking and Masao Tamaoki connect with independent designers all over Japan to find unique art, handmade treasures and innovative design. They share their stylish discoveries on TokyoMade, offering style conscious shoppers rarely attainable creations.

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Comment (日本語もOK)

oh my so many colours – loving it~ japan has so many cool events! wish there were some over here T____T

Nov 1, 2009 (4472 days ago)

Lovin the Toko monsters. They’re so cool. I would love to go to events like that.

Nov 1, 2009 (4472 days ago)

Design Festa is definitely a colorful adventure. It is held twice a year and always jam packed!

Deanne Tonking (author)
Nov 3, 2009 (4470 days ago)

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