To celebrate the launch of MUJI, Canberra Centre recently hosted their leading product designer Naoto Fukasawa for an exclusive talk.
Founded in 1980, MUJI’s origin was a thorough realisation of product manufacturing processes with an eye to creating simple low-cost quality goods. MUJI’s goal is to give customers a rational satisfaction when it comes to consuming goods, and their products have sent shock waves not only through Japan, but across the entire world.
There are over 900 MUJI stores around the world with over 7000 products available.
Naoto Fukasawa is a renowned Japanese industrial designer who collaborates with world-leading companies and brands, and has also worked as a consultant for major domestic manufacturers.
Across the various fields of his work, Fukasawa focuses on evaluating corporate strategies through the lens of sociality and how we define quality of life in-order to provide insight into the needs and demands of society.
Having won numerous awards given by domestic and international institutions, including the 2018 Isamu Noguchi Award, Naoto joined the MUJI advisory board in 2002
On his recent visit to Canberra Centre, we had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with Fukasawa to chat all things MUJI - the brand, the philosophy and how the new store will benefit Canberran’s!
MUJI, short for Mujirushi Ryohin, translates to “no brand, quality goods”, and we have a very minimalist and simplistic approach to the way in which we design and produce products. As leading product designer, I believe that when we buy new things, we should look for what’s “just enough”.
We take the fuss out of packaging and over-designing products, and make products simplified and as functional as possible.
Our starting point, is always the question of “what are the necessary products for our life?”. If the object is too over designed, we re-design it to make it more simplified.
We also want our customers to know that we want MUJI products to be used in conjunction with other products, and we make them easy to integrate into your home.
There are many popular products that seem to do very well in our stores.
The main ones being any travel related products, such as suitcases (which Fukasawa designed), as well as all the little travel essentials such as travel packing cubes, small containers and other necessities.
Home essentials such as cleaning materials and organisational materials are also very popular, as they make tidying up and organisation simplified and fulfilling!
One of my first MUJI products was the wall mounted CD player, and it is still incredibly popular as well with customers.
We also want our customers to know that MUJI products can be used in conjunction with other products they may already have. We make them easy to integrate into your home.
Our aim with all our products is to design them so that you never have to throw them away. We use recycled materials as much as we can, which is very important. We only use natural colours and no paint, which also helps the environment.
MUJI is a lifestyle company and focuses on the object and how it can support our day to day life, and not just be a decoration.
We are trying to reach different parts of the world, and this is the fifth store in Australia. Canberran’s seem very organised and focused on the quality of their life.
I feel that this is a great place for a MUJI store, as the residents that live here are very suited to our products. We also believe that Canberra is an important city in Australia and the people here are already very environmentally conscious.
MUJI is located in Canberra Centre’s lifestyle precinct, Monaro Mall.