MUJI happens to be one of those interesting companies who offer a selection of products that sit quite close to our general aesthetic, but maybe miss out on the craft/independent element. They rarely highlight the original makers, possibly because a lot of the ideas are duplicated from the handiwork market in Japan, but I’ve got a lot of respect for what they’re doing at the lower end of the spectrum. They are really making people think about design in quite a contemplative way, stripping back any unnecessary elements, this isn’t something that we see in Europe a lot so it’s great to see MUJI expanding into the mass market and altering people’s mentalities.
This new project that I stumbled upon via the MUJI website really intrigued me, they’ve linked up with IDEE who are a Japanese store that sell a variety of goods like furniture, design objects, and books. They were founded in 1975 and originally began by importing and selling antiques from West London, working their way up to opening many stores and mixing with different brands on interior design, now they’ve been collaborating with MUJI on creating a variety of case studies and a real in-store shop experience.
The so called ‘case studies’ grabbed my attention as the imagery was just too enticing not to post up, I was stuck for choice since there were so many good ones. I’m a big fan of this lifestyle photography that’s quite natural and features all sorts of quirky items and ideas for the home, here I’ve spotted some great stuff like a book by Noguchi, some lovely lighting by Serge Mouille (who happens to by one of my favourites, check the archive for evidence), and a mixture of other vintage products that look perfect next to the MUJI items. This is great as it’s definitely a promotion of something that I’ve been feeling lately about mass production and handcrafted goods, or more one-of-a-kind items. I think you need both in life and it’s a bit of a push and pull situation.
Anyways, enough of my rambling as you’re sure to enjoy this selection of imagery and the many more over on the MUJI meets IDEE dedicated webpage linked below. If you can speak Japanese or have a good online translator you will also be able to read the stories behind the creatives that they’ve documented and what they do for a living, very interesting as well.