If you took designer Kenya Hara and lifestyle brand Muji’s philosophy of graphics and design at face value, you might initially feel a little ripped off.
The mighty creative director explains his work with the word ‘emptiness’ and explains to me that their products exist simply because “they’ll do.”
On November 26, Muji will open their first store in the southern hemisphere at Chadstone Shopping Centre. If you want to know more about emptiness, one of Mr. Hara’s tomes on design and philosophy is a good read, if you simply want to see it in action, Muji’s recent campaigns exemplify the train of thought. Put simply, ‘emptiness’ is the space left for or available to the potential of things to happen, a “metaphor of potentiality”.
The ‘that’ll do’ part of the equation is Muji’s essence. Muji doesn’t exist to shock and awe. From beds and furniture to nail clippers and signature raw-state paper stationery, it is the “careful elimination and subtraction of gratuitous features and design… a deliberate pursuit of the pure and plain.”
Apply that to the thousands of products Muji provide and you’ll get a sense of what they mean and how they fit in our lives. If you’re after a real Japanese experience that won’t break the bank and have your wardrobe, living room, pencil case or kitchen looking pure, clean and appropriately devoid of superfluous detail, Muji’s first foray this side of the equator could be a sign of great potentiality for you.
Muji opens in Chadstone Shopping Centre on November 26.