Muji is the much admired japanese homewares store which is ubiquitous in Europe and Asia (241 shops), and has one location in the USA, in New York. Their products are stylish, affordably priced, good quality and well-designed. It is appropriate that they would sponsor an international design competition, Muji Award 02, with the theme "re-think, re-design, re-use, re-fuse." The winner is....a towel. The Gold Prize was awarded to this "towel with further options", which starts life as a bath towel, but as it gets worn can be cut down along pre-scored perforations into a bathmat, a floor cloth and finally a duster. The perforations mean that there are no fraying edges when cut. Makes one regret not thinking of all those interim steps between towel and dish rag.
No Silver, but the Judges prize went to stacking hangers, a great idea since excess hangers are so annoying, as they sit at the bottom of cupboards getting tangled. And third prize is to salt. We use too much when pouring it out of a box, so this designer has packaged it in small cubes to discourage usage. A chrononotebook redesigns the way we track daily appointments. As one judge commented: "All these projects strike me as perfect reflections of the creative usefulness which is the spirit of Muji." :: Muji Via :: Financial Times