One of the joys of wandering through Tokyo’s stores is coming across products that make you pause to reflect or smile. They’re usually small, simple items, often colorful, their use sometimes questionable, but they plug into the Japanese sense of kawaii or cuteness and illustrate the refined aesthetic sensibility of this culture, where the smallest details and the most humble objects are considered worthy of thought and effort. In Japan, design often has a sense of playfulness about it, and products designed from this perspective enrich the most mundane tasks.

Since 2002, the Tokyo based design firm h concept inc has been creating such products in collaboration with various local designers under their +d. label. The catalog consists of modest everyday items for the home or office, small compact products that re-imagine forgettable things such as shoe horns and slippers, soap holders and soup ladles. This post looks at four humble products that show design brilliance but don’t take themselves too seriously.

cupmen 2 nekko

tube splash mini

All original photos : : copyright h concept inc

Read the rest of this entry »