Confetti, firecrackers, bubbles and a disco ball. These are all ingredients for an awesome party but not something you would find in an office or cubicle. Unless of course you’re talking about “Desktop Fireworks,” a series of fun lights and noisemakers concealed as ordinary stationary supplies you would find on a desk. Conceived by UK-based Japanese designer Tomomi Sayuda, the party is only activated by pressing the big emergency style button, which releases an orchestra of light, music, bubbles, confetti and thus relieves stress at the workplace. “The button should only be pressed at times of extreme stress,” warns Sayuda.
Although seemingly all fun and games, the project actually presents a dark cautionary tale. “This is dedicated to my father Kenichi Sayuda, who committed suicide on 8th July 1995 – aged 37, due to his stress at work,” says Sayuda. Japan is perhaps one of the only countries that has a specific word for occupational death – karoshi (過労死) is literally “death from overwork” while karojisatsu (過労自殺) is “suicide from overwork” – and is also one of the few that has the need to report it in statistics as a separate category.
According to government data (PDF), in 2012 there were 285 reported deaths in Japan attributed to overwork. This actually represented the first decline in 3 years after rising to a peak of 302 in 2011. Let’s all take a moment to put life in perspective and remember Sayuda’s important message: when you feel the stress, just hit the emergency buttons and have a party!
(thank you Tomomi-san!)