I have always found a visit to Tokyo can provide a torrent of untainted inspiration, so on a recent trip, I enquired of my local friend Adam, "What can you show me here that I may not have seen before?" He helpfully offered an Ice bar where absolutely everything is carved out of ice, or did I fancy being spoon fed lunch by Japanese girls dressed as maids? We discussed a restaurant where they have monkey waiters, but alas I ran out of time to go on any of these adventures... However, I did experience a few wild and wacky moments and felt compelled to share one of them with you. The venue was the KDDI Designing studio, five floors of technical innovation based around communication; the place was filled with gadgets of the future, many of which will actually never make it that far. After examining several bizarre 'concept' phones in the 'Design Park', we swiftly moved up to the third floor to take a look at 'Portal Living'. It was here that Adam introduced me to the Harajuku Gao, he explained that if I sat down and allowed the machine to scan my face with the latest recognition technology, it would produce a prediction of my occupation. I immediately rose to the challenge, well actually I sat down in front of the screen, carefully followed the procedure and anxiously awaited my fate. After some deliberation, as promised the machine delivered it's verdict, the number one choice polling 52% was 'Fashion designer'. I was now puzzled, but mildly relieved and curious enough to ask what the second result said, Adam revealed that I had a 48% chance of being 'A Charismatic shop owner'. Hmmm, I wonder if it was the eyebrows that did it? After a deep intake of breath, I asked 'And in third position?' With odds of 42%, the answer was 'Artist'. I'm not entirely sure why the formula appears to be based on 142%, but then there are quite a few rather wonderful things in Tokyo that seem to defy any logical explanation, best to sit back and enjoy the ride.
Nicku san, March 2010