Charity Boxes for Japan @ Milan Design Week 2011

Charity Boxes for Japan @ Milan Design Week 2011

Charity Boxes for the collection of funds were created by 57 internationally renowned designers from Japan, Italy and other countries. These boxes, as well as being objects of design, were also used as “charity piggy banks” in which visitors put their donations for the victims of the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami on the 11th March, 2011.

The organisers are planning to transform this initiative into a traveling exhibition that will visit other cities in Italy and abroad. All  funds raised from donations to “Charity Box – Emergency Project For Japan” are to be allocated to the Japanese prefectures of Miyagi and Fukushima.

Spazio Corso Como 9

The natural disasters that hit Japan was shocking and devastating even for our country that is used to earthquakes and their resulting effects. Japanese residents in Italy have experienced the dramatic events with a double anxiety: on one hand, the concern about the consequences for their countrymen and country, on the other, the impotence of being far away and not being able to help out by contributing to the rescue of the survivors and the reconstruction of the destroyed cities and villages.

Our initial concern and sorrow for the fate of the victims, their families and their communities has developed into a desire to collaborate in the reconstruction and to help the people return as quickly as possible to a normal life. Our L’Isola della Speranza, as well as many Japanese living in Milan, has launched several projects to raise funds to assist people living in the affected areas.

Charity Boxes Descriptions

Tomoko Azumi  /   ”Birdsong again in Tohoku”

(W: 160, D: 200, H: 300 mm)

Tsunami had taken thousands of lives and destroyed rich culture alongside the coast. We designed a birdhouse for a charity box, with our wish the defusee’s houses built for retaining comfort and dignity at the earliest chance, for them to love their local landscape again and enjoy birdsong. Please roll a note, then insert it the hole into birds’ entrance – diagonal towards bottom.

Enrico Azzimonti  /   “New House”

An icon for new housing. A small, red, transparent house suspended over a white foundation.

Alessandra Baldereschi  /  “Koi Fish”

(Size: 27 x 14 x 12)

Koi fish, or Japanese carp, is in popular culture a symbol of harmony, love and friendship and is often used as a good luck charm. The Koi fish can swim against the current and for this reason it represents the strength to face adversity as well as persistence and the will to continue. For the exhibition I used the Giona aquarium, which is made of blown glass by Skitsch and interpreted for the occasion.

Tamar Ben David  /  “Wound ”

On a very large bowl, a white film is tensed, on which a cut was performed. Through the cut is glimpsed the inside red.

Caiola+Polga  /  “Sun climbers”

(200x200x300h mm)

The three dimensional development of Japan’s symbol, the rising sun, reflects the necessary rebirth of the country after the  catastrophe on March 11. The ladder suggests the rise from the rubble we all have imprinted in our minds, towards revival, towards the new day.

Shinobu Ito with Setsu Ito   /  “Ninja Teddy Bank “

I’m still a little teddy bear … but soon will become a ninja !  It will be tough to become a true ninja, I’m so scared that a little ‘ I feel like crying … but I’m here and I will do my best, ready to help those in need in collaboration with Ritzenhoff AG (Germany) & Eurostands SpA (Italy)

Joe Velluto  /   “First Aid Pig”

(25 cm X 15 cm X 15 cm)

Kazuyo Komoda  /   “For a part of the wounded earth”

(Dimensioni: 30ø)

A globe with a weight inside. The earth, even when it trembles, eventually sets itself right. A needle indicates the part of the earth that has been wounded and is in need of help.

Marta Laudani & Marco Romanelli   /  “Mr. Butterfly”

The hat has for some time been the most usual of charity-boxes. It inhabits our cities: on the corners of our streets, in front of stores or on the steps of churches. It protects from the cold and then with a simple 180-degree flip it changes role and transforms itself into a spacious container. In somebody’s hand, on the ground or in the mouth of a dog, it awaits the generosity of passersby and a sprinkling of change. Today it also welcomes the spring flight of a butterfly and a light wind that brings our best wishes to the other side of the sea.

Paolo Lomazzi  /  “Always standing up”

(size: 20 x 20cm)

The base is like the keel of a boat, a boat that is always in equilibrium. The image of the hands symbolizes “giving help”. The cover is removable and inside there is my signature.

Mauro Merlini  /  “Tape”


Two adhesive bands, a nylon rope and a bamboo, is hoding a cocoon precariously balanced between floor and wall. Bamboo, fender, nylon rope, tape.

Miriam Mirri  /  “Ciao Japan”

( 40 x 40 x 40cm – Slab of folded aluminum )

Globe dedicated to the Japanese people in recognition of their culture and artistic expression. For the collection of funds destined to help the victims, the offerings and messages can be inserted in the cracks that are found on the upper part of the globe, which is made of a thin slab of aluminum. Light is present to remember the victims and as a symbol of hope.

Kaori Miyayama  /  “Bottle for the heart”

(size: H 16.5cm x w 10cm x d 10cm)

The glass pharmacy bottle as a container for the heart and salvation

Minori Nakanishi + Nicola Galbiati+ Federico Agosti + Marco Tonegato  /  “Oltre il cielo”

( 45,5 cm x 32,3 cm x h. 20,6 cm)

The poetry behind this project runs to the relationship between nature and man. The Nature ‘seen as entities’ existing before man is symbolized by the endless spiral that evolves. Along this spiral, the man is born and takes part of Nature to carry out his path. Each coin inserted is a step in the growth into the future.

Lucy Salamanca  /  “to return to playing”

(Size: 30 x 30 x 30 cm)

A transparent charity box to accompany the donation. A suspended swing that is moved by the donation. A push with a wish for Japan to return quickly thanks to the help of everybody.

Naomi Sugita  /  “Line”

From the outside, it seema simple block of Marble, but inside there is the space remembering the kindness and the power of humanity. I chose the white “Marmo”, because it reflects the force and the pureness of the nature. In the middle of this structure, I realized one slight line, just about a clew. Not to divide, but to join together two elements to identity a core, full of hope. Special thanks to Mrs. Palmalisa Zantedeschi for the collaboration and the fulfillment of the project. I hope that the victims of this grieving accident will start again their peaceful life as soon as possible

Kazuhiko Tomita  /  “Captain TSUNAMI”

This suitcase has travelled a lot all around the world and in the last trip at the end of march 2011, he carried 13kg of Potassium Iodide(donation from Italian friends) to protect 300.000 Japanese children against radiation, then becomes a CharityBox for them.

Marco Zito  /  “Fragile”

Glass is fragile. This is its peculiarity. Murano in an island and japan is an island too. Glass and islands are very fragile. Our task is to use care with them

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