Since the late 1980s, Tokyo has gained an unrivalled reputation worldwide for being at the very cutting edge of the international design scene. Despite the downturn in the Japanese economy in the mid 1990s, interior design has thrived, fuelled by a rapid turnover in consumer trends and the pressure on urban space. For retail and entertainment venues design is a potent tool, proving itself to be an essential aid in the perpetual jostle for customers and market share. In the last few years, the design stakes have heightened rather than diminished. International companies have also joined the fray by investing heavily in signature architecture in the city. In 2001, the Renzo Piano Building Workshop completed the Japanese headquarters for Hermes in Tokyo and, in 2003, Herzog de Meuron captured the attention of the world's press with its impressive glass building for Prada in Roppongi. "Design City Tokyo" features the latest stylish interior design projects in the city. As well as restaurants, bars, shops, offices and homes, it includes a male beauty parlour, a disco for the over 40s and Kengo Kuma's new temple.
The projects range from the internationally renowned to hidden 'backstreet' gems. The author's insider knowledge of Tokyo offers the reader a rare and privileged perspective, imparting both design and cultural insights.