JCPenney: A lesson in how to destroy a brand
Discrimination and prejudice in design

(I'm not going to) Tokyo Design Week 2013

A few people have contacted me to ask why I'm not covering Tokyo Design Week this year, and the answer is simple: I'm not going.

I used to enjoy it, particularly when it was out in Odaiba, but over the last few years it's gone from being a pretty open, innovative exhibition to a suffocatingly corporate trade show. Whereas once people were free to talk to the designers and take some pictures, the last few years have seen big "no photography" signs all over the place, with men in uniforms enforcing the rules.

That leaves people who want to cover the event - ludicrously, even the designers themselves - having to use press packs or pictures pilfered from the internet. I think it's crap. People are there to see design, not pharmaceuticals or military hardware. There's no need for the silly rules and the prohibitive costs, as all it does is alienate people and preserve cliques.

Sadly, one of the design exhibitions that was still open and fun - DesignTide Tokyo - closed its doors last year. Hopefully it'll be back one day.

So although I might choose some standout exhibitors from Tokyo Design Week, I didn't apply for a press pass and I won't be buying a ticket.

Good luck to anybody exhibiting and, if you're visiting, feel free to share your experience.


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