Design News

A songbook cover from 1930, designed by the artist K. Kotani. Photo: Courtesy of the Levenson Collection

Eastern Appreciation
With Asia Week in full swing at museums and auction houses around the city, there are two events in particular worth your attention: First, the Arts of Pacific Asia show, which opens to the public today and lasts through the week, hosts 65 vendors selling art and antiques from China, Japan, the Pacific islands, and the Middle East. Then, on Saturday, the Japan Society will host a symposium of Art Deco in Japan, including a talk on the ideological value of design in Japan during the years of World War II as well as one on the designer Saito Kazo as a key figure in modern Japanese design (Arts of Pacific Asia Show, the Market Suites at 7W, 7 W. 34th St., at Fifth Ave.; 310-455-2886;; through 3/25; Japan Society, 333 E. 47th St., nr. First Ave.; 1 p.m.-4:30 p.m.; 212-832-1155;; Asia Week information,

One Block at a Time
This Saturday at Scandinavia House, the Center for Architecture Foundation is holding an active design workshop on designing the city block. It will explore ways to effectively arrange businesses, residences, and roads to improve the function of the city. The workshop is in honor of the City of Helsinki, this year’s World Design Capital (58 Park Ave., at 38th St.; 212-847-9740; free, but preregistration required;

Biology As Art
In two recent works, artist Stefani Bardin has taken on the human body as an endlessly fascinating design concept. For “M2A: The Fantastic Voyage,” she used a wireless capsule camera to record how the body uses processed foods versus natural, “whole” foods. The second project, Phantom Lim(b)inality, uses phantom-limb syndrome as a metaphor to describe the way our brains relate to the urban versus the natural world. Bardin will be on hand tomorrow night at 3rd Ward gallery to present both works and lecture on how science and technology can inform art (195 Morgan Ave., at Stagg St.; 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; 718-715-4961;

A Polymath Presents
Famed architect and designer Rafael de Càrdenas will speak tomorrow night at the Museum of Arts and Design as part of a lecture series presented in conjunction with the American Institute for Graphic Artists’ New York chapter. De Cardenas, who has experience in fashion, industrial, and brand design, will talk about cross-disciplinary design and about the value of conceptual flexibility to a contemporary architect (2 Columbus Cir., at Eighth Ave.; 7 p.m.; $32, $16 MAD and AIGA/NY members; 212-299-7777;

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