Friday, December 07, 2012

asics origami

We have just completed almost 2 weeks of workshops for the Japan project. I was not an active participant, but managed to learn quite a bit about the creative and technical bits of the project.

As I'm naturally piqued by interesting visuals, the first week of creative discussion was naturally more engaging than the 2nd week of technical sessions. One of the videos they shared was an origami depiction of the history of ASICS and Onitsuka Tiger.

It's the first time I get to work in a consumer products company. My previous experiences dealt with mostly the intangible, so it's a bit difficult to quantify the result of work produced.

So it's been really exciting to learn the deep history and value that goes into producing each pair of sports shoe, apparel and equipment. Even with that, it still remains a humble Japanese company. There may not be much luxuries usually associated with large corporations, which is perhaps why the people here are also more down to earth.

I may not have enough space for myself, nor fancy stationery and gadgets, whatmore enough heating in winter. But I get to experience some of the best sporting products ever. Maybe that should motivate me to get back to some form of fitness!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

home sweet home

The 2nd batch of my furniture finally arrived early last month! I'm not sure about other countries, but here in Japan, the Ikea delivery and setting up services are outsourced separately. I need to make 2 appointments to have them delivered, and to get the furniture built up. To ensure I don't have stacks of heavy boxes cluttering my appointment unnecessarily, we had to get those 2 dates as close as possible.

I would love to do a bit DIY, but when Yuri and I tried with the bed, we realised it was too heavy for 2 petite grrls, and we didn't have the right tools between the both of us! In the end 2 colleagues from HR came to help. They took almost 2 hours+, but I was quite impressed with the end result.

So one Saturday in October, I was awaken by the delivery guys with 5 boxes. The next morning, I was awaken by 2 people carrying tools and some padded cardboards to set up the furniture. They were really efficient - after a quick assessment, they set up their equipment and started work immediately. Mostly quiet, they referred very little to the manuals.

My initial plan was to make breakfast while they did the furniture. But I was so engrossed in their slick operation that I just sat in bed (because everywhere else were boxes and furniture!) and watched them do their work. The lady proceeded to do the study table near the balcony, while the guy set up the swivel chair.

Later, he proceeded to built the chest while she continued making the shelves for the table. All these were done on the cardboard, while they shoved the paper and corrugated cardboard into plastic bags. Once in awhile when they were using the electric drill, I would cringe because it was 830 on a Sunday morning and I was quite sure my neighbours would be cursing me for waking them up!

I was glad I didn't order more furniture, the whole place looked neatly messy with just these few pieces already. I still need some table for eating, and a TV rack because now it's on the floor together with the modem and wifi router.

I was really looking forward to these important furniture as I have been doing everything on the floor - reading, writing, using the PC, eating. It was taking a toll on my neck and back. Also, they were gathering dust without proper storage.

Finally the chest, study table and chair were done. I went with a black and white theme to suit the bed actually. Oh, have I shared pics of that yet?! Well, personally I would have gone for something woody or neutral. I guess I just have to be more diligent in keeping it white!

The last piece to be built was the sofa bed. It took me a long time to choose this because I was not sure if it would take up too much space in my tiny apartment. I had to go back and forth between a day bed, proper bed, sofa bed, mattress, futon, and multiple combinations of the above with sketches in my head. All keeping in mind the overall theme, budget, manageability and arrangement between the different pieces.

I have never been to Ikea so many times in such a short time in my life before! All because Ikea is just the next station, and I can walk there after work. I sorta have the store layout memorised now.

It's been quite fun actually. This is the first time I get to have my own place, decide on how it would look like with various shapes and colours. I can only imagine how much more tedious it would be with a house!

But it's almost there. I can now invite friends over and have a cuppa. It's always nice to have something that has much thought put into it, something that I can come home to and feel, well, at home.