naoto fukasawa

items: designs from "re-design--daily products of the 21st century" exhibit
designer: naoto fukasawa
photos via: hara design institute
comments: the designer, kenya hara, curated the exhibit which showcased the re-design of everyday items. one of the items in the exhibit was designed by naoto fukasawa. naoto re-designed the humble teabag. he explains his design shown in the first two photos as "centre of awareness", part of which is knowing when the tea is ready by the color it creates. the ring that he attached to the end of the string is the color of the tea when it is ready. this is a subtle guide for the end user to measure, if they want to, when the tea is ready. it also works as part of the packaging to contain the materials. lastly, he quips that maybe it's not important to know that you can measure the color by the ring, but instead it might be more important to remove the ring and give it to the person you are sharing tea with. oh i love that idea! the next image shows the re-design based on the movement that is needed to make the tea. he observed that this movement was similar to that of a marionette. the piece at the end of the string allows for movement similar to that of a marionette. also, he changed the teabag shape to that of a doll which when placed in hot water swelled to give a more jovial shape. love the whimsy and playfulness that he imparted to this design. the last image shows a design that is based on observing that a used teabag creates a beautiful brown color. he decided to use the tea to dye the packaging. this way, the end user gets a hint at the color and the wonderful fragrance of the tea in the packaging. he also used that same color but a bit darker to print the name of the tea on the packaging. thoughtful, simple and beautiful. naoto is one of my favorite designers because those three words describe everything he does.