Art / Design, England

Form of the Function

We braved the rain today to go to see Okamoto Kouichi perform at the V&A Museum. We have known Okamoto-san and his design company, Kyouei Design for quite a long time; Atsuko has been friends with him since she introduced him at Pecha Kucha Tokyo while we were still at KDa. We’ve long admired his quirky product design; Okamoto-san is a gifted musician with a strong sense for design simplicity, and also a delightful wit and humour.

Although we saw his Musical Table in Tokyo, this was the first time we were able to see it properly in action. 504 volume switches control the same number of music-box-motors laid out in rows on the floor each playing sounds at random. In Tokyo, the layout allowed for interactive sensors to control the motors, but in this, slightly strange, position at the V&A the interactive aspect of the table was overwhelmed by the number of people. It was lovely to chat with him beforehand and to watch him create abstract, improvised sound from 2 ceramic plates and that dense mass of wires. We didn’t get to say goodbye but will be sure to get in touch soon…

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