Borne out of a sober reassessment of consumerism and consumption post 2011′s Great Japan Earthquake, Muji’s Product Fitness 80 seeks to find balance, and happiness, in self-restraint. Not ascetic self-restraint, rather, finding the joy in 80%. As such, the Muji design team was tasked with finding ways to reduce packaging to address sustainability, without noticeable impact to the consumer. For example, cotton swabs can easily be reduced in length without loss of function.
The 80 nicely references the Okinawa adage “Hara Hachi Bu” (Eat until you’re 80% full), which requires you to be mindful of what you’re eating and how you’re feeling, all while eating less. A win-win.
Muji sponsored Product Fitness 80 exhibitions worldwide during 2012, but the concept remains an important one and has me (once again) examining my own consumption habits, and searching for ways to be a smarter, and happier, consumer.
screenshots from muji product fitness 80 website
I love themed gift sets. The problem is when the ratio of things I don’t want to things I do want is out of whack. That’s not a problem with Australian company Bindle: their collections are artfully assembled, locally sourced, and dare I say, I want one of everything. Prices range from $50 to $150 AUD, and there is a Bindle (a clever name, which means “bundle of possessions carried by a hobo”) for every gift-giving occasion. Lucky Australians!
Thanks to Jane Cameron (Creative Director at Fête magazine**) for steering me in such a wonderful direction.
a bit on the side
images from bindle.com.au
** fête magazine’s autumn 2013 issue is just out, full of party inspiration, including jane’s own birthday party. long live print: order your copy of the magazine here.
Cereal Magazine published Volume 2 in late March, and I’m pleased to once again be among the contributors. The second issue focuses on Berlin, Seoul, and the Pembrokeshire Coast in Wales: my story is about RSVP, an über charming (and personal favorite) paper shop in Berlin’s Mitte neighborhood. The excerpt of my article is below, but please, treat yourself to a printed copy!
Rosa Park and her team are dedicated to presenting thoughtful food & travel stories that are beautifully photographed. And as Rosa + I are both stationery nuts (something we discussed when we met recently for lunch in London), I’m so excited that Cereal is expanding into stationery! The range currently consists of three smartly designed, utilitarian notebooks, manufactured in collaboration with Korean stationers O-Check and Gongjang, but plans to extend the line are underway. Magazines and stationery is my ideal combination, so I can’t wait to see where this is headed.
image at top by jane potrykus; article excerpt courtesy of cereal magazine
I’m such a fan of Harrington & Squire‘s utilitarian design aesthetic: Chrissie Charlton and Vickie Fullick have a knack for turning out austere yet utterly charming letterpress products. I can’t wait to visit “The Corridor” (their space in London’s Tufnell Park) and perhaps enroll in a workshop. Heaven.
perforated calendar: the 2014 version will be mine!
images courtesy of harrington & squires
Happy April! I’m still waiting for the “out like a lamb” spring weather that is long overdue, but hopefully things will turn around shortly. We spent spring break week in a colder-than-usual London searching for schools and housing. School is settled; housing remains a work in progress. My husband has noted that all the areas I like have a Daunt Books on the High Street (I’d like a Gail’s Bread, too). At any rate, things are ramping up in anticipation of the move, and yet there are miles to go. While I procrastinate, enjoy a few of my favorites from Flickr for March:
- farm fresh eggs
- Salt and Cinnamon
- happy easter
- pattern 2
image at top was taken at plain english design, a company i am completely obsessed with.