11 March 2011
It’s official. Spring is just around the corner. This week Ryohin Keikaku – I’m just going to call it MUJI – announced that it is launching a new product lineup aimed at beautifying and greenifying verandas everywhere.
The new project is a joint collaboration between 2 subsidiaries, Flower Muji and IDEE. Flower Muji began in 1996 as a flower business and was spun-off as a separate entity in 2001, but later reacquired again by MUJI. IDEE is an upscale furniture and lifestyle manufacturer/retailer that was founded in 1975. It was acquired by MUJI in 2006. (I know, I thought MUJI was all about simplicity too.)
There’s no argument that, aesthetically, they’ve designed some really beautiful products. And they are expected to. After all, their art direction advisory board consists of, amongst others, design giants such as Naoto Fukasawa and Kenya Hara. However, in my opinion, there is one major flaw in their lineup. Japanese housewives are not interested in beautifying their veranda. Such an act would only get in the way of vital yet limited space used for hanging clothes and futons out in the sun!
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