Japanese design is often focused on adding engaging design to unexpected places, subtly nudging the audience to look twice at everyday objects from erasers to lunch boxes. Designer Yu Aso has placed this idea into one of the most common packaging elements—rubber bands.
Aso has reimagined rubber bands with a mizuhiki twist, a Japanese art form using cords tied with decorative knots. The most common of these is the shoelace knot, which he has effortlessly worked into a rubber band that is appropriately named the mizuhikiband. The band was was originally created as part of the 2013 Kokuyo Design Awards with the theme of “happy x design,” but has since gone through two years of revisions to refine the design and make the product more foreigner-friendly.
It was also important to Aso that the band have a sense of repetition in its design, encouraging users to use the product over and over again to secure a variety of gifts.
Mizuhikibands will be available in four different colors and packaged in groups of 7 beginning in early October. (via Spoon & Tamago)
Update: Mizuhikibands are now available in the U.S. through the Spoon & Tamago Shop.
Earlier this year Tokyo and Milan-based design firm Nendo (previously) accepted the challenge of redesigning the rubber band, one of the most common desktop items that seems so ubiquitous that it’s disposable. After all, the cost of a few hundred more is just a few bucks. But what if a rubber band was interesting, functional, and you didn’t want to throw it away. This was the idea behind Nendo’s cubic rubber band, a completely different form factor resulting in a desktop object that isn’t meant to be stashed away in a drawer or tossed in the trash. A set of three retails for 1080 yen (about $10), though you’ll need to be able to navigate a Japanese retailer, Marks, to snap up a set. (via Spoon & Tamago)
Animated by Guillaume Blanchet (who you might know from his hilarious The Man Who Lived on His Bike), this new stop-motion short called A Girl Named Elastica tells the brief story of a girl who leaves her home to adventures around the world. Probably the most notable aspect is the ingenious use of thumbtacks and rubber bands to create the majority of the animation which takes place entirely on a small bulletin board. A Girl Named Elastica has been winning awards at animation festivals all over the world since last year, and you can follow Blanchet over on Facebook.
Designed by Chen Lu Wei for Megawing this fun set of four erasers lets you assume the role of barber while you work, all you have to do first is make a mistake. By using the eraser you slowly shave away the rubbery hair surface resulting in a funky new hairdo for your desktop pal, effectively turning an act of destruction into an act of creation every time you erase. Pretty sure my kid would just start with the face. May or may no be available here. (via co.design)
Knob Creek Metal Arts has a really great collection of bookends for sale over on Etsy, the visuals are just fantastic. (via lustik)
Sorry for the somewhat sporadic posting lately folks, things have been a bit more hectic than usual lately. Posting should be a bit more frequent starting very soon!
Using binder clips, playing cards, paperclips and many other household objects, mathematician Zachary Abel pieces together intricate geometric structures. One of his most recent pieces, the Impenetraball (top) is made from 132 binder clips and Abel suspects its sturdy enough to support his own weight (though he has yet to confirm). Dizzying mathematical how-tos and patterns available via his website. (via make)
I love this laser cut NYC Cork Board by design studio AMINIMAL, available from Supermarket for $75. (via cmybacon)