New York designer arrested for planting false bombs

Designer arrested for "planting false bombs" in New York

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.