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Posted by superadmin on 04/09/2013 20:05 in 2013

 

Story: Sommanassa Ngernsa-ard

Since 1980, Naoto Fukasawa has created hundreds of design ranging from wristwatch, coffeemaker, armchair, mobile phone to fruit juice packaging. The prolific talent has worked in collaboration with many emblematic brands as Thonet, B&B Italia, Artek, Maruni, Majis and Muji. More than 50 prestigious design awards are given to him. This article will elaborate the principle to which Fukasawa adheres in the making of his much-revered designs.

Design the necessity

Fukasawa is convinced that a designer should design to serve lacking necessity. He or she should seek to craft a better relationship between objects and people rather than just create one object after another endlessly. In the process of designing, a designer should decide which factor is most significant to the final product and stay focused on it. He or she must not let himself or herself be overtaken by excessive elements. Putting something irrelevant in just to express oneself would not complement the product but spoil it.

One prime example of the designs that could shed light on this concept idea is “Shiba,” the cookware collection Fukasawa designed for Alessi. Unlike traditional cookware, Shiba pans do not appear bulky. The sizes are calculated to meet the need of families nowadays with fewer members. Unnecessary details are cut down to minimal with the use of multiply mirror and wooden material that makes them fit for any kitchens. These pans are so sleekly inviting and practical for use that they are recognised with 2011 Good Design award.

 

 

Design for use without thought

Apart from designing the necessity, Fukasawa also has a firm belief that people should not have to think about an object at all when they are using it. A good design should blend seamlessly with its surrounding and let the user discover its function instinctively. The Japanese designer calls this design philosophy “Without Thought.”

To explain this concept further, he analogises such a product-using experience to our behaviour when we are walking. As we pace forward, we choose the surface for each step intuitively that no thought is needed. Only our subconscious is working when our feet recognise rough or smooth plain as we stride on. Similarly, a good design will dissolve naturally into our behaviour while we incorporate it into our lifestyle without having a thought.

A classic epitome of this idea is the wall-mounted CD player Fukasawa created for MUJI. His inspiration started with a recollection of kitchen fan with which everyone should be familiar. Once the power string of the CD player is being pulled down, the CD will start to spin around like fan’s blades and music will drift out of it. Since people know how a kitchen fan operates, there is no need for us to study the manual intensively before we can actually enjoy it. From this, Fukasawa is able to introduce a newer product through the old sensation yielded by the object people already know about.

In conclusion, Fukasawa’s products stand distinct from others’ because his focus is not to have an innovative product that could incite a big wow. He puts an emphasis on creating an object not for the sake of the object itself but for betterment of the relationship between an object and the people. His designs do not have unnecessarily complicated features so they allow people to become fairly natural when in use.

 

Photo credit: www.dwell.com

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