japanese art, design and culture
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less is more | Nendo Reinvents the Chopstick by turning two into one

rassen01_akihiro_yoshidaphotos by Akihiro Yoshida courtesy Nendo

Your chopsticks can make your food taste better, claims Hashikura Matsukan, a chopstick manufacturer steeped in 400 years of history. But how can you improve on, or reinvent, something that’s been around for so long? Something that’s been refined so many times? It’s just 2 sticks that taper to a point, right? Well that’s exactly where Oki Sato from Nendo turned to, when he was asked to redesign a series of chopsticks.

“Chopsticks ordinarily come in pairs,” explains Sato, “but the rassen chopsticks are a single unit. They’re separated into two for eating, then rejoined into one form when not in use.” Rassen means helix, and refers to the DNA-like shape used to link the two together.

rassen02_akihiro_yoshida

rassen03_akihiro_yoshida

rassen04_akihiro_yoshida

Another design in the series is kamiai, or interlock. “We put a gap on one of the four sides of the square shaped chopstick, and embedded a magnet, so that the two would snap together in one piece when they are flipped and fitted to each other.
We placed the magnets towards the outside of each chopstick, so that the chopsticks don’t come together accidentally while someone is using them to eat.”

kamiai02_akihiro_yoshida

kamiai03_akihiro_yoshida

In a related story, designers attempting to simplify chopstick etiquette.

You can read all our stories on Nendo right here.

kamiai01_akihiro_yoshida

source: press release

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6 comments

1 Shirley { 01.02.14 at 10:42 pm }

Oh my! Wish I can buy the chopsticks! It is a piece of art!

2 Ying { 01.05.14 at 9:42 pm }

Wao!!

3 L. O. Itzmi { 01.06.14 at 12:19 am }

I had a dream that I went to hell. The chopsticks were so long that no one could eat with them.
The next night I dreamt I went to heaven. The chopsticks were also too long, but everyone was feeding someone else.

4 ramasushinyc { 01.06.14 at 12:45 am }

More info please love it!

5 yaho { 01.08.14 at 1:55 pm }

good

6 Ducky { 01.15.14 at 3:12 am }

Changes shape, adds magnets, calls it “simpler.”