It says something about its cache that, in only its third outing, Muji’s International Design Competition attracted nearly 2,000 entries from 35 countries. From this haul, the panel of judges – among them, Naoto Fukasawa and Jasper Morrison – announced the seven winners back in December. All the winners are now on show at Muji on London's Kings Road.
The winning entries – which include a streamlined stapler that always clips neatly in the same spot, eco-friendly washing powder made from wild camelias and angled nail hooks – are currently on show in Muji’s flagship store in Tokyo till early January before moving on to Milan in April just in time for Salone.
This year’s theme was ‘Found’ and contestants were required to identify ‘that special something’ in an object, alter its context and find a new application for it. Muji’s brief to contestants was that their solutions should invoke the response ‘Of course!’
In this respect, Yuki Iida’s winning entry Straw Straw – a straw made of, well, straw – evoked a similar response of recognition from all the judges for its deceptive simplicity. Jasper Morrison went so far as to point out that like all the best ideas, Iida’s design is ‘obvious to the point of stupidity’.