Designer arrested for "planting false bombs"
in New York


New York designer arrested for planting false bombs

Dezeen Wire: Japanese designer Takeshi Miyakawa has been accused of planting false bombs and arrested while installing his work in a New York street during the International Contemporary Furniture Fair.

New York designer arrested for planting false bombs

The 50 year-old Brooklyn-based designer was arrested on Saturday after a passerby reported one of his illuminated I Love NY carrier-bags, hanging from trees and lamp-posts around the city, and the NYPD bomb squad were called in to investigate.

New York designer arrested for planting false bombs

Miyakawa is now being held at Rikers Island prison for 30 days for psychological evaluation as the design world campaigns for him to be freed - follow #freetakeshi on Twitter and the Free Takeshi Miyakawa group on Facebook for more updates.

New York designer arrested for planting false bombs

Portrait is by Louis Lim.

Here's some more information from his studio:

Brooklyn-based designer Takeshi Miyakawa was arrested on Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 2am for “planting false bombs” – he was installing a new series light sculptures inspired by the I LOVE NY plastic shopping bags (see attached images) around the city in trees and on lamp posts as part of NY Design Week 2012.

A passerby called in a bomb threat after noticing the sculpture installation. The NYPD arrested Miyakawa while a bomb squad verified that the sculptures were non-threatening. The designer and four of his colleagues co-operated with the police, repeatedly explaining that the hanging bags were an art-installation, and not explosives.

At an arraignment on Sunday, May 20, 2012 the prosecution recommended that the judge fix bail, while his lawyer, Deborah J Blum, characterized Miyakawa’s arrest as a gross misunderstanding as evidenced by his many accomplishments in the field of design.

The Honorable Martin Murphy decided to hold Miyakawa for a mental evaluation, extending his detainment for an additional 30 days.

The 50-year-old designer relocated Tokyo to New York City 23 years ago, working for the renowned New York architect Rafael Vinoly. Miyakawa established his solo design practice, Takeshi Miyakawa Design, in 2001.

  • Nino


  • okpala

    his arrest is an epitom of the sheer hysteria and squareness NY authorities treat serious problems like terrorism. mental evaluation should be undergone by the city's lame dobermanns…

  • qhsj

    a similar thing happened in boston a few years back. The creators of the viral ad campaign that was deemed "a bomb threat" were fined quite a lot of money I believe. I am sure real terrorists will just disguise their work as billboards and advertisements since that kind of visual clutter is quite alright and nonthreatening apparently.

    • Hayden

      actually, thats quite a good idea !

  • OOps? What is that supposed to mean?

  • John

    The War Against Takeshi has started and not before time, imagine the terror he could have brought down on New York with his Shopping Bags of Death.
    Time for everyone to take a chill-pill and recognize the titanic over-reaction that has occurred here.
    Bring on the "Free Takeshi" T-shirts!

  • Guy

    OMFG. Maybe Miyakawa was a little naive to hang plastic bags with wires coming out of them in post-9/11 New York public areas, but the reason is immediately understandable and naivety is hardly deserving of a 30 day detainment for mental examination. The judge is the one who should be examined – with professional scrutiny. Its seems to me he is perverting justice by punishing under false pretext.

  • pizzaface

    ohwell bad luck.

    'as the design world campaigns for him to be freed'

    paleeezzz he got arrested due to an overreaction. He'll be out soon. no need to waste time and energy on a campaign.

  • Doug C.

    I hope foreign countries will start protesting the brutality of America against it's civilians soon. We have become a (stupid) police state.

  • Diego

    In all fairness, he should have gained consent from the local municipality. Anywhere in the world, you see someone hanging or dropping stuff during the night will raise some kind of suspision. And who would want to take the chance to argue with a nut especially if you not sure.

    Artists should consider being more responsible, democracy comes with responsibility.

    A clear example of the South African artist Brett Murray who painted the president with his private parts hanging. Called the "Spear". Has got the whole country up in arms!

  • Mandizzle

    It wouldnt happen in the UK because by the time the Police had responded to the call the bags would of been stolen!

  • Max

    He got is 15 mins!

  • deport that bitch to Guantanamo! time for the orange suit…art installation my ass!

  • vanik

    paranoid androids.

  • normal

    What an incredibly good piece of bad luck. I'm sure he'll be laughing all the way to the bank once he's had his wrist slapped.

  • Sam

    I personally can see why this work would raise suspicion and I am sure the state and the judge are sensible enough to realise that it is just art. But come on guys lets be practical, he will and probably should be jailed to deter others from such random artwork in a place like NY with its extra alert and overzealous residents

  • LOL… Those are great! Did he light them himself? Did he use an outlet or battery?

  • This is amazing! The BOMB SQUAD!!!! LOL