Industrial Facility
 
 

02

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04

05

Project
Bath Radio

 

Client
Muji, Japan

 

Production
2009 —

 

Unlike other manufacturers, Muji applies itself to many territories of products, from food and clothing, to health and beauty and to electronic products – always making sure that what is produced has a lasting relevance and an appropriateness to its setting. It was these last two territories – health and beauty and electronic products – that allowed Industrial Facility to pose the question as to whether a bath radio could be a simple extension of their successful refillable bath wash range, that used a combination of high quality bottles with a replenishing sachet system. 

 

The connection between a radio and a shampoo bottle might seem absurd at first, but if both are viewed as things we consume during bath time, it is perhaps quite relevant. It was certainly a fine line, and one which Industrial Facility have continued to pose ever since their Second Telephone for Muji some 10 years ago.

The Muji Bath Radio ‘borrowed’ the form of the Muji refillable Shampoo bottle which was introduced in 2003. The speaker also relates to the size of the shampoo sticker. Radio controls were carefully considered in terms of use – the on/off and volume control is at the top; and the channel selection is underneath. This is because it acknowledges that in the environment of a bathroom, the radio channel is rarely changed. The sound quality is enough for the purposes of a shower or bath, and with water resistant sealing it is not affected by moisture, like regular radios.

 

Awards

New & Notable, ID magazine 2009

 

Exhibitions

New Simplicity, London 2010
Turn, Twist and Branch Off, Aram Store, London, 2011

 

International Sales

Muji, Japan

 
 
 

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04

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06

Project
Fan
 

Client

Muji, Japan
 

Production

2006 — 2010
 

Cooling fans are one of those objects that often find themselves in the middle of a room – where all sides are seen. And it is clearly apparent that with most of these types of products, as soon as they are introduced into a room, the feeling or atmosphere becomes sad and unfortunate. To stem this problem as much attention was paid to the back of the product, as to the front. Under significant component constraints, much of the design work was a process of careful negotiation with engineers, to ensure that the principles of simplicity important to Muji were maintained – for instance the fan motor and gear system had to be re-configured so as to obtain a perfectly smooth cylinder, expressing the force of a motor, reminiscent to a jet engine.

The remote control rested in the base when not in use, similar to a puzzle piece. Adjustable heights from 84cm to 104cm, with control settings for speed, direction and rhythm – a function that modulated air flow similar to a breeze.

 

The design proved to be a best seller for Muji and it allowed them to invest in a smaller version, that was added to the range in 2008.
 

Awards
IF Hannover Award, 2007
 

Exhibitions

Some Recent Projects, Design Museum London, 2008

 
 
 

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06

07

Project

Coffee Maker

 

Client

Muji, Japan

 

Production

2006 -

 

An opportunity arose at Muji, to investigate an affordable small capacity coffee maker that would involve a stainless steel insulated pot, made possible by a new relationship with Toshiba. With the help of Kazushige Miyake who had a sound knowledge of the principles of coffee machine manufacture, we proposed a cylindrical tower, purposefully ignoring existing componentry, and instead being informed by the landscape of use, namely the kitchen. A cylinder meant that it could rightly sit in a corner or on a central counter, resembling the types of items already found in a kitchen.

The design was presented as a simple cardboard tube to explain its concept. It was accepted on the spot. This was followed with proposals for all of the mechanics, water filtration, and in particular, a concept for ‘wrapping’ the water resorvoir around the coffee filter. The design went on to become one of Muji’s most popular products with its customers, and continues to be in production with minor improvements made in 2010.

 

Awards

IF Hannover Gold Award, 2007

 

Exhibitions

Love & Money, Ozone Gallery, Tokyo, 2006

Some Recent Projects, Design Museum London, 2009

Design East, Osaka, 2010

 

International Sales

Muji, Japan

 
 
 

03

04

Project

Glassware

 

Client

Muji, Japan

 

Production

2006 - 2008

 

Muji had recently made an alliance with a glassmaker in Austria, and asked us to explore a range that would typify Muji and the qualities that should transcend from domestic use. It turned into a collection that spanned everyday water glasses, white and red wine, beakers and candle holders. The defining elements were a very thin edge, made possible from the factory’s knowledge of crystal, and a shared angle of form that allowed stacking and light holding.

Exhibitions

Some Recent Projects, Design Museum London, 2008

Design Cities, Design Museum London, 2008

 
 
 

02

03

Project

Low Sofa

 

Client

Muji, Japan

 

Production

2004 - 2006


At the time of a re-examination of sofas for Japnese homes, Muji had noticed the growing popularity of a ‘low’ sofa – one that is slightly above floor level, but not as high as the western style. Industrial Facility responded to this by creating a ‘low sofa program’ that splits the arm-rest and seat into two separate and rotatable elements. The advantage was extreme flexibility in use and arrangement – made possible because the armrest and back could be kept on the same level, because of the low ergonomic seating position. Seats could be combined or changed depending on needs, while the result appeared as a set and complete piece of furniture.

Permanent Collections

Israel Museum, Jerusalem

 

Exhibitions

Found, Made, Thought, Israel Museum, 2006