An object whose fate is determined by its surrounding environment

The brief ‘TWO SIDED’ asked designers to create something inherently dual-natured. Each participating designer crafted their interpretation. My contribution was a design that could serve as a bangle or, uniquely, as chopstick rests.”

This item’s role changes depending on where it is sold. If placed next to a teacup for sale, it spends its life as a chopstick rest. If found alongside necklaces or earrings, it lives as a bangle. I designed such a versatile ring.

Sometimes, I ponder whether I would have become a completely different person had I been raised in a different place. Various factors influence us: the friends we play with, our living environment, our teachers. We are shaped by memories, likes, praises, and scoldings. Whether something is lacking or abundant, I wouldn’t be who I am without those experiences. Over time, what is considered common sense changes. I believe that people can become artists or athletes, depending on their surroundings.

From this perspective, I thought this concept could also apply to objects. The initial environment determines their function, and they continue in that role for life. I find such a notion fascinating.


Learning like a baby

When generating ideas, I used primitive-shaped objects, observing and touching them like a baby, exploring the potential roles hidden within their forms. I believed that this reverse-engineering approach would spark ideas. Babies attempt to learn from everything they see, growing through sensory experiences, but as they age, they forget the finer details. Now as an adult, I revisited this approach, touching and articulating my interaction with objects, consolidating my thoughts. I named this attempt to gain new insights ‘Baby Playing the Toys’.

In the ‘ring,’ various roles were discovered: threading something through the ring’s hole, spinning it around, placing items on the edge, throwing the ring by grasping it, rolling it on the floor, grinding it between the palm and the floor, adding more rings, peering through the hole, covering the mouth, placing it on the head… Among these, I focused on ‘threading something through the ring’s hole’ and ‘placing items on the edge’ to sculpt a shape that could function both as a bangle and as chopstick rests. The final design became a chopstick rest that can be used like placing chopsticks on a bowl and a bangle distinguished by two indentations. I think it’s good that, beyond a simple ring, each piece has its own originality as an individual object.

Photo by Eguchi Kairi