The exhibition poster features the ancient Chinese character for kome.
A fascinating exhibit is currently on display at 21_21 Design Sight in Midtown Tokyo. Created by renowned Japanese designer Taku Satoh and anthropologist Shinichi Takemura, “Kome: The Art of Rice” presents 35 design pieces by leading Japanese artists and experts in rice cultivation. What makes this show so intriguing is that a food staple as humble as a grain of rice (or “kome” as the Japanese call it) could be shown with such aesthetic sensitivity and with such a thoughtful exploration of the role that rice played in the historical, cultural and spiritual traditions of Japan.
Designers are not just ordinary consumers in the battle against suffocating the planet with litter. They are the best prevention and the last defense. Aesthetic sensitivity, retail presence, brand positioning, ease-of-use, safety, etc. are critical considerations when designing, and much more fun than thinking about the packing materials used. As important as it is to recycle and minimize waste that goes to landfill, more pressing is what gets blown away as litter. Fast-food takeout boxes probably kill more creatures than the high-fat junk food they hold. Bad typography may be annoying to read, but you never hear about seagulls strangling on overextended serifs, nor about coral reefs stomped to death by insensitive use of graphic standards. There should be life after design. Design for the afterlife. Happy Earth Month.
By Peter and Charlotte Fiell
Newly released “100 Ideas That Changed Design” by Peter and Charlotte Fiell chronicles the most influential ideas that underpin design thinking today. From ancient times to the Industrial Revolution to the Modern Movement and the digital age, the book looks at concepts that shaped the evolution of design and their impact on the present day.
HOW Design Live is a career-changing, life-altering experience that attracts innovative designers, marketers, and creative leaders at the forefront of their industries. With 7 conference tracks and over 95 hours of programming over 4 days, you’ll walk away with new skills that are essential for today’s creative professionals.