REALITY IS THE BEST STORY
Conceptualizing Conceptual Design
In the field of conceptual product design, what matters more are the convincingness and the plausibility. As far as the stories written are flawless, as far as the narratives presented are intriguing, the other “conventional” values of design such as functionality or aesthetics become less important. When you realize this, the inevitable question that occurs to you would be; what would it be like when design gets infused with as many stories as possible?
Reality Is The Best Story is a small design exhibition by Ken Tsunoda with a series of objects presented in its own installation space. You are expected to walk through the designated route while observing the presented objects and reading the wall labels, just like in any other museums. However, as you turn around the corner to walk further into the installation, you will realize you are staring at the same object you already saw earlier in the exhibition, but this time you are standing on the other side of the wall. In this exhibition, each of the objects is shown in a narrow opening on the wall, so that you can look at it from different sides, and each side of the walls has a label to explain the same object, but in very different ways.
The goal of the exhibition is to make the visitors realize how easily the way we perceive things can be manipulated through the power of storytelling. By conceptualizing conceptual design, Ken is pushing forward its boundary and showcasing how all sorts of narratives can be imposed upon us in a convincing manner.
Different labels on different sides of the walls to describe one object in contradicting ways
Conceptualizing Conceptual Design
REALITY IS THE BEST STORY
Ikebana Vase for Contemporary Housing Requirements
Ikebana is the Japanese traditional art of flower arrangement. But, despite the long history it has, today, the ikebana population is on the decline.
One of the reasons is the change in
architectural styles. In traditional Japanese houses, ikebana pieces used to be displayed in wall recessions called tokonoma, which made the focal point of reception rooms. However, westernization and city congestion are making tokonomas obsolete, lowering ikebana’s popularity.
Embarrassment-free Sex Toy
There is a growing trend in the industrialized world that more and more young adults are having less sex, and Japan is the global leader of the trend. Latest statistics shows that almost 1 in 10 adults in their 30s remains a virgin, which, of course, would further accelerate its on-going "super aging". One forecast indicates age 65+ will account for 40% of the population by 2060.
Ken Tsunoda believes that appropriate use of sex toys will help increase the rate of spontaneous sexual intercourse, which will eventually contribute to improving the sexlessness among the youths. There are variety of male masturbation toys already in the market, but they are designed for solo use by male users, and tend to be too graphic and often not friendly to their female partners.
Ladle to Battle
the 21st-centrury Problem
Heat Island refers to urban areas hotter than surrounding rural regions. Bigger cities have more concrete structures that retain heat, grounds covered in asphalt, and heat-emitting automobiles, who all contribute to the unbearable summer heat.
To tackle this, cities in Japan are bringing back an old tradition called uchimizu, water sprinkling in streets and gardens. Historically, it was considered to have purifying effect as depicted in many ancient scrolls. And it is scientifically proven that, when water evaporates in the summer heat, small amount of energy (0.58kcal/1g of water) is absorbed from surrounding air.
Wish-making Sushi Roll
In Japanese lunar calendar, February 3rd is the day before the beginning of spring, and variety of traditional events are still practiced even today, such as scattering soybeans or putting up sardine-head charms.
Ehomaki is a big, wish-making sushi roll eaten on that day. But there are rules to follow and it doesn’t mean your wish will automatically be granted just by eating it. First, while eating, you are supposed to face that year’s “lucky direction”. Second, once you take the first bite...
"Nomi-nication" Serving Bowl
“Nomi-nication” is a word coined by putting together the Japanese verb “nomu”, meaning to drink, and the English noun “communication”. The word shows how important candid communication over a drink is for the Japanese.
But the youths in Japan are not as drenched in alcohol as their parents used to be. They are more health conscious and tend to feel more ashamed of being drunk in the public. After-work drinking with colleagues and bosses used to be the primary occasion for nomi-nication in the past, but the evenings are spent otherwise nowadays.
Spilling for Good (or Bad) Luck
One Japanese superstition says spilling sake in dream is a sign of bad relationship. And if you look around the world, you can find out similar superstitions related to spilling from across the world.
In Italy, if you spill wine, you have to wet your fingers in it and dab your ears to chase away the bad luck. Similarly, in India, it is commonly said that spilling milk is considered a bad omen because of the holiness of cows. However, in complete contrast, the Portuguese believe that spilling wine brings good fortune and happiness. And in Romania, spilling coffee means you will receive money from somewhere. The tiny mishap that happens to everybody is drawing toward you all the good and bad luck at the same time, depending on the superstitions believed in different cultures.
Lantern Candle Holder
The history of candles dates back to 5000 BC, and the invention of this portable light source encouraged us to conquer the darkness. However, people often forget about the other great invention that followed the candles, despite its impact on the
humanity - candle holders. It was the candle holder that really helped maximize the candle’s potential.
Since then, designers across the world have always tried to improve the world by coming up with new ideas of candle holders. And, when Ken Tsunoda decided to take on this big challenge, he turned to his native country of Japan. He thought he could draw on the country’s traditional paper lanterns,
especially the floor standing ones. While insulating the floor against the melting wax, the paper shades can make the naked candle light mellow and diffused.