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Suffering from a sinus syndrome, Kenji Ekuan passed away in a Tokyo hospital on monday, february 9th at the age of 85. The japanese creative, whose Kikkoman soy sauce bottle has become an icon, was also responsible for internationally acclaimed designs such as the Yamaha YZ 450 motocross bike, Narita Express N’EX airport train system, and ‘space of dreams’ capsule bed hotel.

Ekuan graduated from the Tokyo National University of fine arts and music in 1955, and went on to establish his office GK industrial design associates in 1957. In 1961, he developed the famous 150mL soy sauce bottle for Kikkoman, whose popularity and practicality remains untarnished, with the idea that ‘design is a source of life enhancement‘ in mind. The condiment vessel has become a table-top staple in homes and restaurants around the world, with its easy to screw-off red cap and dishwasher safe material, making it an object that can be reused and enjoyed endlessly.

Ekuan’s philosophy was that:
‘People’s views on lives, lifestyles and value are aggregated in a form of a product. Industries, technologies and the economy form their power through design, and are able to beautifully delineate many aspects of our lives. Design has always created a relationship between humans and things that have livened our well-being, and stimulated production by providing aspirations for a rich tomorrow.’ Ekuan’s fresh aesthetic and functional sensibilities saw him play an important role in shaping japanese transportation, packaging and logodesign over the years. In 2014, Kenji Ekuan was awarded the prestigious Premio Compasso D’oro for his lifetime contribution to the design and technology sector. (via DesignBoom)

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The Apple ‘Lightmac’ developed by industrial designer, Tomas Moyano, integrates the power of a desktop computer, the user experience of tablets and the progressing technology of projected touch screens, to create a conceptual product aimed for the market in 2025. The core i9 processor central component that has 16 GB of RAM and 24 hour battery life, takes care of the processing tasks and works in sync via Bluetooth 6.0, with the external modules and even a wireless keyboard. The peripheral parts which have a battery life of 12 hours, project the display and can be re-sized to offer a customizable interaction. (via DesignBoom)

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As the first of its kind, the ‘Prynt‘ smartphone case transforms an iPhone or android mobile into an instant camera by printing photographs on the go. Just like an ordinary cover, it attaches onto the cell phone and fabricates pictures from the gallery or social media with a click of a button, in an incredible 30 seconds. The pink, white or blue device which is compatible with iPhone 5, 5S, 5C and 6, as well as the Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5, provides a new method of sharing special moments. In addition to this, the experience is made even more unique as images that are scanned by the camera, can come to life in a short augmented reality clip. ‘Prynt’ is currently seeking funding via its Kickstarter campaign and aims to ship the $49 units for summer 2015. (via DesignBoom)

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Whether it is deliberately or subconsciously, works and styles of the past always have their way of influencing the ways that we form our creations today. This shows the power of design, as it can present new concepts in a manner that shows respect for its predecessors. With this mindset, Catherine Denoyelle and Assia Quétin have crafted ‘monde riant’ for pa design.

The project has been developed in ode to the famous dutch painter, Piet Mondrian. By taking his minimal and timeless technique and applying it to the stationery, each sticky note block has its own character defined by dimensions and color. This simplicity is enhanced by the fact that the pieces are divided by the black base structure, which replicates the artist’s solid bars that would direct his compositions. (via Design Boom)

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The ‘Hush earplugs’, a pair of wireless earplugs that not only blocks out the noise from your surroundings to give you peaceful sleep, but also wakes you up with its in-built alarm that you can customize via the accompanying iOS and Android apps on your smartphone. You can also control these earplugs to play soothing ambient sounds for a more enjoyable rest. Made with memory form and silicone padding for a comfortable fit, the Hush earplugs are designed for those who yearn for a quick and peaceful retreat amidst a noisy environment, such as travelers and students. (via Design Taxi)

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Earlier this year Tokyo and Milan-based design firm Nendo accepted the challenge of redesigning the rubber band, one of the most common desktop items that seems so ubiquitous that it’s disposable. After all, the cost of a few hundred more is just a few bucks. But what if a rubber band was interesting, functional, and you didn’t want to throw it away. This was the idea behind Nendo’s cubic rubber band, a completely different form factor resulting in a desktop object that isn’t meant to be stashed away in a drawer or tossed in the trash. A set of three retails for 1080 yen (about $10), though you’ll need to be able to navigate a Japanese retailer, Marks, to snap up a set. (via Colossal)

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Despite being made from cardboard and weighing under 15 pounds, Refold’s desk is sturdy enough to stand on. The standing desk is not only good for you, but folds so you can work anywhere. Sadly, it’s only shipping in New Zealand at the moment. (via The Awesomer)

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