Design Twits | the Japanese design Twitterati

A while back there was an interesting exchange of tweets between several product designers. Fumie Shibata lamented that when taking out the trash the previous evening she found one of her designs thrown away in the oversized trash bin. She had never seen her work in a heap of garbage and notes that it was so “real” compared to seeing it in the setting of someone’s home.

Which prompted Tomoko Azumi to admit that she once spotted one of her designs on ebay selling for way below market price. Annoyed by this, she purchased it herself only to realize that the plastic coating was peeling off everywhere. She jokingly stated that she was thinking about repainting it and reposting it on ebay.

So, I guess the question is… how far ahead should designers be thinking when designing a product? It’s second life? It’s third life? As part of a heap of oversized garbage?



  1. This is an interesting discussion…I once worked for a business that did restoration of antique furniture, and longevity and durability of materials was a major concern in that business. As a person with a great love of craft, I can't help feeling that there as a society we have lost the respect for old-school craftsmanship in so many arenas. As a disposable society, even our houses are built to be obsolete in short order. We now live in a house that was constructed in 1913, and has held up solid and strong, where as the condo I live in in Vail was already showing serious structural wear and tear after only five years. Food for thought.

  2. That's a really good point. With stores like IKEA bringing the average price point of furniture down, are we being conditioned to appreciate the initial satisfaction of a purchase rather than the longevity of a product?

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