DESIGN | MARC NEWSON’S JAPANESE “AIKUCHI” SWORD FOR WOW STUDIO
Renowned for his minimalist organic modernism, design world luminary Marc Newson—who’s sculpted everything from from watches to children’s bunk beds, cars, boats, and even shoes by Nike—has brought his aesthetic to one of Japan’s most ancient & enduring design objects: the traditional katana sword. In collaboration with Japanese design firm Wow led by Hiroshi Takahashi, master Hidehiranuri lacquer artisans, and renowned swordsmith Hokke Saburo, Newson has brought the traditional weapon firmly into the modern age with a refinement that could only be applied to an object of pleasure instead of war. Called “Aikuchi,” the sword “does not incorporate a lower guard into its design, and is therefore considered by some people to be more of a lucky charm than a weapon,” explains Wow’s Takahashi. “The name ‘Aikuchi’ was chosen for this project to highlight the tight coupling between the sword, handle and scabbard, and also to draw attention to the fusion of two different cultures.” Available in an edition of 10, the swords go on display in Japan today at the Tokyo Art Club located in Shimbashi.
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