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On: Design

Selections from Jean Snow's monthly column on On:Design.

Sleek in design but also very practical, the Saibashi is flat with tapered tips, which makes it easier to use than a pair of chopsticks and more precise than a pair of tongs. The hinged end also has an indent that stops it from sliding into your bowl or plate when you rest it there.

Innovative products rethink generic design

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How’s this for a novel idea: kids’ furniture that adapts as the children grow up? Torafu Architects’ Dice aims to do just that. Like its name suggests, this shelf-like structure is designed to be rolled. And with each roll a new function is revealed.

Innovative products rethink generic design

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The Gu-pa collection brings a little humor to boxes by shaping them into a series of animal heads — there’s a bear, elephant, deer, rabbit and hippopotamus, each with brightly colored accents.

Innovative products rethink generic design

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Originally produced as a prototype in 2009, this innovative and seemingly simple design — a diagonal top allows the lid of the bin to swing open and shut easily — was in reality so difficult to produce that it was never manufactured. Yet there was clearly a demand for it, which led to Takeuchi to take the project to Kickstarter where it’s already getting close to its pledge goal.

Innovative products rethink generic design

japantimes.co.jp

In collaboration with Kohshin Shoji Corporation, based in Sendai, Nosigner has produced The Second Aid, a disaster-relief kit that includes an abridged version of the Olive book along with dried foods, utensils, a mask, foil blanket and other emergency items.

Innovative products rethink generic design

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The Kitchen Garbage Drainer is a simple plastic, foldable contraption that you place in the sink and drop peel and other unwanted bits of food into.

Goods to spruce up the dining experience

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This beautiful ceramic collection is the result of the Mother Lake Products Project initiative, which pairs creators in Tokyo with artisans from the Lake Biwa region in Shiga Prefecture.

Goods to spruce up the dining experience

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As the name suggests, Vegetabrella is an amusing umbrella by H Concept that, when shut, looks rather convincingly like a head of green leaf lettuce.

Classic home products get quirky updates

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Nendo’s latest work is an entirely new series of furniture and houseware comprising 13 pieces for Danish furniture maker BoConcept.

Watch out for Nendo

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Designed to slot among the novels on a bookshelf, the Hanabunko is a simple, rectangular container with an open corner.

Clever designs in kitchenware and desktop decor

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The heft of Cachicochi’s Trip stand will ensure your bike will stay upright, while its simple dome shape not only camouflages the fact that it’s a bike stand, but is unobtrusive in the home.

Leaf Memo have a delicate translucent finish that adds an elegant touch to your messages.

Classic home products get quirky updates

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On the surface, the Nendo-produced mugs appear identical to the plain white mugs Starbucks uses, but if you flip them over (make sure it’s empty!), they look like they are filled to the brim with either an Americano, a latte or a caramel macchiato.

Moon & Earth and Sun & Moon timepieces, designed by Naoya Matsuo, use color and shapes instead of oh-so-conformist numbers.

Just in time for the rainy season: the Vegetabrella.

Classic home products get quirky updates

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Italian brand Etro and photographer-director Mika Ninagawa team up for a boho-floral collaboration of vibrant extremes.

The Bottled lamp creates an elegant glow to the lighting produced and can be adjusted with four dimming settings.

The UniAuto app allows you to remotely control the Balmuda Rain humidifer and SmartHeater from anywhere.