Yesterday I posted some thoughts I’d had in response to AGI Open 2013. To keep things brief I chopped these bits out, but I find them pretty interesting even outside the flow of an article so I thought I’d post them here standalone.
MUJI was born in 1980. In an age when consumption was considered to be the symbol of wealth, the MUJI product items that had been perfected through process inspections, material studies, and packaging simplification
After taking over the art direction for MUJI from Ikko Tanaka in the summer of 2001] Kenya Hara was frequently heard to say, 'Death to poetry.' Because the products themselves already had a concept, the most direct way to gain people's agreement and understanding was to clearly communicate only the MUJI ideas that were already contained in the products. Therefore sentiment was unnecessary. For example when introducing a product, the presentation from start to finish consisted of a straightforward description of the facts
Nippon Design Center, MUJI identity writeup
On design in the public domain
IKEA have sold more than 41 million of its Billy bookcases in the since 1979. You can see from that incredible demand that real people love minimalist products when they provide an accessible blank canvas rather than an austere set of constraints. It’s hard to know whether social media has encouraged this attitude or if it just provides a showcase platform for behaviour that’s been brewing since desktop publishing came along and turned everyone into designers, but it’s a definite thing. Even Kanye gets it.