Industrial Facility







Paper Cup



Takeo Paper Co., Japan



2004 (not in production)


In a response to a project conceived by Kenya Hara for the Takeo Paper Company, the subject of a paper cup was investigated. It signified more than mere disposability or mass production – by taking up a sensual and aesthetic position. It was dependant on its contents.


Even before the paper cup was picked up, something appeared very different. Its contents were visible but not defined. Milk appeared differently from orange juice, just as wine was distinct from beer. The cup allowed this difference to show through, the colour conveyed visually with a cup almost disappearing.

The material presented itself modestly, not as plastic, but more honestly as paper, a material closer to wood. People found themselves holding the cup differently, and there arouse a new tension between its fragility and the desire to quench a thirst. 


For an object that has such a short life, it does not mean that we should sacrifice the quality of enjoyment that’s typically found in objects that stay around for much longer. Longevity of use should not determine duration of pleasure. The result is that, without trying very hard, new qualities present themselves that were always there - they are just made more visible.



Haptic, Spiral Gallery, Tokyo, 2004

Haptic, RIBA Gallery, London, 2006