Pamela Tan Shares Her Love For Tokyo As A Design Destination


Pamela Tan


Tokyo is one of the most interesting cities in the world. I wouldn’t say it’s the most beautiful but it’s very organic. The history of Japanese architecture has many contradictions, in terms of transitioning from wabi-sabi to the present consumerist high-tech architecture. It’s true that these are on the extreme ends, however in the midst of the transitions, the city experiences unique juxtaposition elements and components that eventually, come together to form a collective national identity.


I recently came across this documentary called Ramen Heads that features Japan’s highest rating ramen restaurants. They’ve all made it on my current wish list—can’t wait to be back in Tokyo.

Nagakin Capsule Tower, made of capsules that are living spaces on their own


I have so many! I love the Nakagin Capsule Tower, built in 1972 as the first capsule architecture design that allowed each capsule “space” to be replaced easily. Then, there are the Tokyo International Forum and Mikimoto Ginza buildings, both visions of Tokyo’s modern architecture—sleek, elegant, and intriguing.

A bizarre and fantastical aquatic experience at ‘Art Aquarium 2018’


I like to hunt for interesting events or exhibitions of the season. I visited the ‘Art Aquarium 2018’ exhibition by Hidetomo Kimura at the annual Eco Edo Nihonbashi event, and the exhibition showcased hundreds of live goldfishes swimming in uniquely shaped aquariums. The theme was Edo Period, shown under cinematic light and sound for dramatic effect.

The uber-chic Daikanyama T-Site


When I’m in the mood for tea and books, I head to the bookstore at Daikanyama T-Site. Designed by Klein Dytham Architecture, the walls of the building are covered with interlocking T-shape modulars that subtly reference the logo of entertainment retailer Tsutaya.


Wabi-Sabi For Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers by Leonard Koren. It makes me wonder about the idea of “zen” and Japanese ethics in relation to their art medium and design culture.


There’s a lot of artwork at The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, from the Meiji era to modern day. Don’t leave without taking a photo of Marc Quinn’s Sphinx, a huge sculpture of Kate Moss in a yoga pose. @_pohsin