fuji_0.jpg
 

2012

 

 

FUJIYAMA GLASS

The beer glass that reveals a miniature Mt. Fuji.

Certain stimulations in everyday life may trigger a sense of nostalgia about a vacation to a foreign country. It can be the smell of authentic cuisine, the taste of local beer, or you maybe found a souvenir that you brought back home. These trips might have special place in your heart, and you have dreams of someday visiting that country again.
The FUJIYAMA GLASS is shaped in an elegant truncated cone that, when the beer is poured into the glass, the froth portrays the snowcap of Mount Fuji.  No matter if you are in London, Paris, United States, or Hong Kong - as long as there is beer around, this glass promises a brief reunion with Japan by revealing the iconic mountain. The appeal of this product is that depending on the content poured into the glass, the user can appreciate a miniature Mt. Fuji in a variety of scenery – radiating gold with the Pale Ale, gleaming in sunrise with the Amber ale, the silent mountain at midnight with the Dark Lager.
Beer is a common beverage that is widely distributed across the globe so much that it can be said that the variety of beer competes with bottled water. The charm of this product is that just by adding an abundant product like Beer, a certain familiar form is rendered into the glass.
FUJIYAMA GLASS was initially created in 2008. Commercialized by pronominal glassware manufacturer Sugahara Glassworks Inc, FUJIYAMA GLASS has been awarded Judge's Special Award (Awarded by Manabu Mizuno, Creative Director) at TOKYO MIDTOWN AWARD 2008. Revered a 'prime souvenir of Tokyo', FUJIYAMA GLASS has gained popularity in and out of Japan over the years. The product has attracted attention from various media outlets such as NHK WORLD, where the product was featured in their 2013 documentary "Artisan & Designer", and was listed in 2015 as a product of cultural relevance in “100 Tokyo", a cultural guide to Tokyo created by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI).
Each of the beer glasses are hand blown by craftsmen of Sugahara Glassworks Inc., a prestigious company established in 1932. The glass is packaged in a Paulownia box, a traditional method of packaging in Japan; designed by Manabu Mizuno of the Good Design Company. The FUJIYAMA GLASS is priced at 3,776 JPY pretax, the same number as the height of Mt. Fuji (in meters) above sea level.
Starting from March 12th, FUJIYAMA GLASS will be showcased at the "Internationale Biennale Design Saint-Etienne 2015" in “Beauty as Unfinished Business” curated by Sam Hecht and Kim Colin. This will be the first international appearance of FUJIYAMA GLASS.


Design : Keita Suzuki
Package Design : Manabu Mizuno
Photo : Kenta Hasegawa

 
 
 
 
tusrite_0.jpg
 

2016

 

TRAIN STRAP

 

Train Strap for Sagami Railway

Safe and beautiful. It was on this simple theme that this train strap, designed for Sagami Railway, was based. Combining an improved functionality in the newly discovered ‘elliptical ring’ with a unity of colour and ingenuity in the details, the strap has become a beautiful tool. Even in the crowded train carriage of a city center, this modern strap can be used with a feeling of safety and comfort.

In Pursuit of an Easier Grip

Designed in an elliptical form, the ring is the most significant feature of this strap, giving a feeling of comfort no matter where it is gripped. The cross section for the design encapsulates a triangular form with rounded edges, born out of numerous test models. In this unprecedented new design, a ring that requires the least grip has been achieved, preventing discomfort in the hand even after prolonged use. Through meticulous innovation of the form, this remarkable design provides the most comfortable grip yet.

User-friendly Case

The case is a cylindrical sheath hiding the metal fitting that secures the belt around the ring. With a greater roundness than conventional models, it makes riders aware that it is a shape that can be gripped. The result is a new gripping point for the hand. Giving consideration to cleanability, a gloss finish coats the surface, allowing dirt to be wiped away easily. With the company logo incorporated into the design, this is an original strap like no other that leaves a sense of well-balanced beauty when aligned inside the train.

Functional Color Coordination

Typically, black dirt is conspicuous when seen on white, while the same is true of white dirt seen on black. In the case of train straps, the former is due to finger marks, while the latter is due to dust and organic particles. With the intention of making both types of dirt inconspicuous, grey was selected as the thematic colour for standard seats. Providing a muted contrast to the train carriage interior, the belts serve to soften the visual complexity caused by the large number of visible straps, contributing to an improved aesthetic. The darkened color of the ring, which heightens the contrast, intentionally states its presence in comparison to the belt, making passengers conscious of ‘a place graspable with the hand’.

Process

Train straps in commuter trains come in contact with the hands of a large number of passengers, contributing greatly to safety and comfort. This may well be the most direct means by which design can be felt. With the aim of creating a product that makes commuting to school or work comfortable and enjoyable, we have given careful consideration not only to functionality, but also to the creation of a beautiful tool. Through numerous tests, the product is the result of an attentive developmental process.


Client : Sagami Railway
Design : Keita Suzuki
Project assistant : Sayaka Hiromura

 
 
 
 
9000_0.jpg
 

2016

 

 

9000 Series train

The Sotetsu 9000 Series completely refurbished.

The Sotetsu 9000 seriesis a DC electric multiple unit (EMU) type operated by the private railway operator Sagami Railway(Sotetsu) on commuter services in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, since 1993. From 2016, the 9000 series EMU fleet is scheduled to undergo a programme of refurbishment. This involves new interiors, including leather seat covers on the transverse seating bays, interior lighting that can be adjusted to suit day and night conditions, and a new exterior livery of "Yokohama navy blue”color. Sotetsu will celebrate its 100 years in December 2017. By 2018 is planned to be completed the JR - Sotetsu link, and by spring 2019 the Sotetsu - Tokyu link.


Client : Sagami Railway
Design Director : Keita Suzuki
Technical Support : GK Design
Art director : Manabu Mizuno( good design company ), Tsuneo Ko( TANSEISHA )
Project assistant : Sayaka Hiromura

 
 
 
 
THE_all_web_trim_web.jpg
 

2012

 

 

THE

Product brand ‘THE'

 We study the past,
Think about the present, and
Create the future.


The result of life and genetics has reached its optimum form through a repetition of birth, evolution, and natural selection--acquiring along the way a countless number of beloved, yet futile characteristics. The multitudes of products that have been produced throughout history have also evolved through a similar cycle of being loved, fading away, and changing forms.


Today, a certain desire has begun to stir within us. It is a desire for products that can be considered as the epitome of an object.


For example, it can be stated that the epitome of “the jeans” is the Levi’s 501. However, this concept of “the …” has not yet been established with most other types of products.


To set new standards for products and create “THE” product
To raise the yardstick for things considered as “THE” standard
To create a product that is genuinely worthy of calling it “THE”
These are the factors we emphasize in our creative process.


http://the-web.co.jp

 
 
 
 
nissan_0.jpg
 

2015

 

 

TROPHY

Trophy for NISSAN ART AWARD 2015

NISSAN ART AWARD - The Grand Prix trophy was designed by the product designer Keita Suzuki, expressing the unbroken chain of creation. It is produced together with Sadao Oda, an artisan of Takaoka-shikki, a traditional lacquerware craft from the Toyama region. Combining two elements—the way the color of lacquer becomes more transparent and transforms into amber over time, and the lacquer protects the gold so that it never rusts—incorporates the wish for the trophy to represent an eternal gold that will continue to shine.


Client : NISSAN Motors Inc. AIT
Design : Keita Suzuki
Artisan :  Sadao Oda
Modeling : Shinya Yoshida
Manufacture : NICHINAN
Photo : Bean, Kentaurose Yasunaga, Yukiko Koshima

 
 
 
 
soy.jpg
 

2014

 

 

SOY SAUCE CRUET

Prevent unnecessary spillage

A soy sauce cruet by “THE”, the brand that strives to create new standards.
The most important factor upon designing a soy sauce cruet is how to prevent unnecessary spillage. This may sound like an ordinary problem with a simple solution- actually it is not quite that simple. The cruet designs in the past, although they are elegant and beautiful, were never successful in solving this problem of preventing spillage. In order to make a ‘Cruet with zero spillage’ a reality, it was necessary to observe the spout on various types of soy sauce cruets that are currently on the market.
The soy sauce cruet by “THE” has created a solution that prevents spillage by placing the spout on the cap, instead of the bottle. When the cruet is tilted, the soy sauce pours through a thin gap between the bottle and the cap, into the beak-like spout. The spherical attribute of the “beak” prevents the soy sauce from spilling outside of the bottle.
All of the parts are made of glass. In fact, we used “crystal glass” known for its particularly high grade of transparency. As a result, it became unnecessary to make an opening designed for screwing together the resin lid and glass bottle. And therefore, it is more hygienic and looks sleek. By also creating the lid out of glass, it is possible to see the soy sauce as it comes out of the cruet, making it easier to adjust the amount that pours out.
The size of the bottle was revised as well. Many of the soy sauce cruets on the market have been created in an era when the soy sauce was an essential condiment in the household. In the recent years, food culture in Japan has diversified, and now the soy sauce has lost its once stable position on the dining table. Consequently, with the size of the common soy sauce cruet, the content is more likely to oxidize and the quality to deteriorate by the time it is finished. The decrease in size was an essential design choice that caters to the modern Japanese food culture while simultaneously allowing one to enjoy the exquisite taste of soy sauce. With this smaller design it has become easier to ‘use up’ the content of the cruet, subsequently raising the issue of washing and cleaning. The inner bottom base of the bottle is widely filleted for easy washing and wiping. As a result of focusing on these fine details, a soy sauce cruet that always seemed to exist has finally come to existence.


movie

Client : THE
Design : Keita Suzuki

 
 
 
 
shinobu_0.jpg
 

2013

 

 

SHINOBU

SHINOBU - New buddhist altar

we conducted the branding and product design for a new line of Buddhist altars and altar tools called “Shinobu”.
Given the modern metropolitan lifestyle in Tokyo, it has become increasingly difficult for Japanese citizens to afford the space to place a glorious, traditional sized Buddhist altar to pray. However, despite the fact that the altar is losing its place in the household, the peoples’ feeling of mourning the deceased have not diminished- if anything it is said to have increased in the past couple of years.
After the earthquake on March 11th 2011, the people of Japan who have survived the natural disaster mourned the lost souls. Designer Keita Suzuki of Product Design Center visited the affected regions and was shocked to see that in the temporary housing - despite the lack of other essential goods – there was a Buddhist altar. That is when he realized that in times of need, the Japanese citizens seek for help to the Buddhist deities. However, there is the reality that the younger generations lack the knowledge about the traditional ritual of praying, and therefore feel intimidated about buying altars for their homes. Moreover, given the housing situations in Tokyo, the demand for an altar has diminished over the past decade, as majority of individuals living in apartments would not be able to afford the space to place a traditional Buddhist altar.
Naturally, the aim of this project had become to find the perfect middle ground between these conflicting factors, and the outcome was to set the standard for the modern Buddhist altars and altar tools. Even in this modern era, there are still numerous products that have yet to be designed, and a Buddhist altar is one of them. “I think it is a designer’s dream to re-design an object that has yet to be designed” Mr. Suzuki explains. “In this day and age, it can be said that the chair is overdesigned. There are hundreds and thousands of different kind of chairs on the market, and the consumer can pick and choose colors, material shapes and sizes. Why can't we buy a modern looking altar?”
The other goal for designing the altar was to make the ritual more casual by promoting the user to pray in a way that is unique and relevant to the subject. “Fundamentally, the act of mourning shouldn't have rules and standards” Mr. Suzuki explains. “I wanted to create an object that allows the individuals left behind to mourn in the fashion that they feel comfortable in.” “Shinobu” is a unique verb in the Japanese language, which translates to “Reminiscing the past person (or place), and thinking about them with nostalgia.” The Kanji character of “Shinobu” consists of a combination of the characters “Person” and “Think”.
The size and function of the altar was completely revised, and through meticulous ideation the product was first stripped to its primary components to conduct the traditional ritual. After rigorous designing, countless prototypes and two years of development, the ideal altar for the modern household was created.
There are no doors on this new altar. Instead, the door was substituted with a bamboo blind- an object that allows fresh air and light to pour through. The contents within the altar can be swiftly concealed by subtly lowering the blinds. “I wanted to design an altar that doesn't ‘trap’ the god inside doors.” Mr. Suzuki states. The basic functions of the altar were preserved so that the users have a choice to use it in the new innovated way, or to worship using the traditional methods. The drawers to store everyday items were preserved in the design as well. Materials with exquisite wood grains such as Bamboo and Birdseye Maple were used to construct the altar. In Japan, the Bamboo tree has been considered a sacred plant since the ancient times. The material texture of Bamboo does not restrict itself to a Japanese interior, as it also blends into a western style home. The Birdseye Maple on the other hand has a very distinct wood grain that is pleasant to the sight. The material is faintly stained to give the hard wood a glamorous finished look.
The Buddhist altar tools were developed with the full cooperation of “Nousaku” a traditional metalwork company based in Toyama Prefecture. The form primarily consists of curvilinear lines that give off a sense of affinity through its seemingly timeless presence. Needless to say the tools were carefully fabricated to preserve the functionality. For the tools that come in contact with fire, safety in use was considered. The heat-resistant glass was manufactured by Tokyo based Hirota Glass Co. Ltd., a glasswork company founded in 1899.  The singing bowl (also known as the “Rin” Gong) has a ring shaped rubber stopper on the bottom that allows for use without a “Zabuton” cushion. Since the rubber stopper allows for the singing bowl to firmly sit on the surface, the acoustics of the instrument was enhanced to create an exquisite harmonic sound.


Client : MANAKA Inc.
Design : Keita Suzuki

 
 
 
 
teardrop_0.jpg
 

 2013
 

 

 

TEAR DROP CHAIR

A chair made from all of the tears you will shed in a lifetime

It is said that the average human will shed 64 liters of tears in their lifetime. “TEAR DROP CHAIR” is made to look like a large droplet of tear, containing 64 liters of water (or, tear). By visualizing this concept, Keita Suzuki of Japanese design firm “Product Design Center” created a product that allows us to realize that our lives consist of numerous events that bring us the happy and sad emotions.
The experience of “sitting on water” is something one could rarely experience. The material simply consists of 0.3mm thick Vinyl plastic, and water. The significance of this project is the feeling of actually touching a “droplet of water”. This is an experience not only an adult can interact with, but children can enjoy as well. A water droplet is nature’s magnifying lens.
If there were to be a Product Designer-like response to this project, it would have to be that the initial idea was to create a chair that would not damage the grass. In his youth, Mr.Suzuki learned that when tying a rope to a tree to make a swing, he should wrap the branch with newspaper in order to protect the tree. Ever since then, he has been conscious about designing without hurting nature. This comfortable chair is for the people enjoying their stay at the grassed area of MidTown, whilst being in the metropolitan city of Tokyo.
In addition to the “TEAR DROP CHAIR”, a chair with the body fluid content of a child, adult, and polar bear were created.
The Project was exhibited at the Tokyo MidTown “DESIGN TOUCH 2014”. Produced by NHK Educational TV and directed by Galileo-Kobo, Mr. Suzuki was invited to create a project inside the “Suwari Forest”(Forest for Sitting). The theme for this project was “Design x Science x Chair”.


Client : Tokyo MidTown ,NHK Educational TV
Design : Keita Suzuki
Production : Japan Vinyl Goods MFRS.ASS, Sadaoka Design Laboratory