“The straw reminds people of appreciating the beauty of the raw material and the quality, returns the object to its original appearance, colors and texture.”
With the development of economy, the resource consumption of the natural environment become a problem for human beings. In Japan, the environmental protection has been advocated by the people cause most of Japanese people is diligent and thrifty. After the natural disaster happened, people are more focused on the natural environment protection and resource-consumption problem. The “Straw Straw” is a typical example of design which mentions people the importance of environment and nature. The designer is Yuki Lida who is a Japanese designer. She was the winner for MUJI AWARD 03 Gold Prize. These straws made of straws are created by nature and they are materials that return to the soil. In another words, there is no waste in either shape or its actual existence (Tham, 2008).
MUJI is a Japanese retail company which sells products for daily use. Most of these products are simple and recycling that present the minimalism. The production and packaging are avoid to be wasted. “No logo, No Brand” is the policy of MUJI. Natural, simple and unadorned life style are advocated by this company. In 1980, with the world economy downturn, Japanese was in a serious energy crisis. The demands of consumer is not only on good quality goods, also hope that the price is cheaper. In this condition, the concept of “no brand” was born in Japan. In that year, The “muji” company was established to make the first batch of no brand products. The product packaging is concise, reduces the cost, use the concept of “no waste”.
The design object called “Straw Straw” is one product of the MUJI. This design follows the concept of “no waste”. The whole straw is made of the real straw. It is made from wheat and was once represented on ancient wall art. “Wall art depicting people using straws of wheat to drink from have been discovered from ancient Mesopotamian ruins. Straws of wheat are forms created by nature; they are materials that return to the soil. There’s no waste in either the shape itself, or in its actual existence” (Fischer, 2008). The design of straw abandons the outside tag, to constantly simplified itself. It removes the trademark, removes all unnecessary processing and color. It keeps the simple packaging, and only leave over the material and the function of the object itself. The straw reminds people of appreciating the beauty of the raw material and the quality, returns the object to its original appearance, colors and texture. The user will be liberated from external constraints, and approach to the internal of the object, and the natural state.
The design objects of “Geta” has similar parts of thoughts compare with the “Straw Straw”. At the beginning of the human life, people walked on the ground without shoes. They used feet to touch the ground and feel the temperature and texture of it. Now, the feet protected by the socks and shoes, so the sensory of feet was resisted. The geta was designed to build the connection between feet and ground. It reminds human of the original power of nature. The moss, wood, and many other textures of the geta cause one to use the sensory nerves on the bottom of their feet. These senses used to be very helpful to primitive man in identifying rich soil, creature population and more about his surroundings (Vidani, week 7).
The Stone Mouse uses a stone organic, hyper-specific objects a replacement for one of the most ubiquitous of computer peripherals, challenging accepted notions of sterility and universality in mass produced digital products (Gerhardt, 2010). It is also a design example which remind people of natural environment when they use it.
After the previous designs which encourage people to think about the nature and frugalness. This lovely design object called “Pyggy Bank” helps people to relax and have fun. This design has feature which is different to the previous designs. It does not use a real pig to make the object. And it also does not present deeply thoughts for the user. The purpose of this design is changing the traditional complicated bank to the simple abstract one.