[ About this movie ]
MITSUBISHI CHEMICAL JUNIOR DESIGNER AWARD 2012
Prize: Judge’s Special Prize – Naoki Sakai Prize
Name: Jun Fujiwara
School: BFA, Tama Art University
Title: Re:Sound Bottle
Synopsis of work:
This is a music medium that can reproduce a recorded voice as music. It makes a database of sound sources that is managed and used as formal and automatic repetitions, and forms a music medium of the day. I felt something missing in the habitual use of music reproduction media, so I thought to create an interactive music medium that changes. By using everyday voices as sources of music, the sounds that are heard all the time every day carry infinite possibilities and help us reaffirm the enjoyment of music. I hope people can experience their own music.
To me, a product should not attract attention through overloaded design. Instead, it’s about the thought – the idea – coupled with intelligent design, which helps bring the product into existence. The product’s final design should be about elaborating things more deeply and understanding the world around us better. In short, it’s about designing a better future.
An example of this is the product development of “Schwarzes Gold:”
“Schwarzes Gold” does not begin with its material nor end with its form. The lamp wants to bring light into the darkness by making people think. Its story is about responsibility, conviction, and sustainable design.
Today lamps with energy-saving light bulbs are titled as “eco-friendly.” For granted, saving energy is a fundamental principle for sustainable design, but it is only a fraction of the whole. In a time characterized by vanishing natural resources, climate change, and toxic waste, the eco-friendliness of a lamp depends on more than just its light bulb. The materials used, the production process, the packaging, and its disposal must be considered.
As a designer of the future, it is my responsibility to pay attention to all of these aspects. This is why “Schwarzes Gold” transforms words into action and calls for shifting to whole-system thinking within the industry, economy, and consumers.
Material & Production:
During the material selection for “Schwarzes Gold,” much consideration was given to the materials’ simplicity and their compatibility with nature. The black lampshade is made out of 100% natural materials. The binding agent consisting of flour and water is mixed with FSC-certified charcoal. Next, the liquid substance is poured into the form and baked for a few hours at low temperature, which keeps the ecological footprint of “Schwarzes Gold” low. During the baking process, the copper form is baked into the black charcoal mix, which creates a solid bond between the two elements. After the baking process, the now firm and non-staining material is removed from its mold by hand. The pressed copper sheet serves as a reflector for the energy-efficient LED-bulb and gives the light an inviting warm reflection.
Even though the burning of coal emits climate-warming and polluting greenhouse gases, to this day, this fossil fuel is still currently Germany’s number one energy source. Given this problematic issue, the used charcoal is not burned, but its application was deliberately not foregone. The lamp’s thought-provoking deep black coal material wants to remind customers that they also carry a responsibility. When looking at “Schwarzes Gold,” consumers are reminded to also think about where their electricity is actually coming from, since this is another vital part of a lamp. When “Schwarzes Gold” reaches the end of its life span, the charcoal material can easily be dissolved in water. Thus, the 100% biodegradable organic material is given back to nature and the rest can be recycled separately.
The modern yet timeless design of “Schwarzes Gold” reflects my philosophy of sustainable design. For timeless design obtains long-term consumer acceptance, which minimizes future market assimilations as well as associated development and resource expenditures.
Even “Schwarzes Gold’s” final form promotes sustainable practices in industry and society. Its black coal lampshade and the vaulted bell-shaped lamp complement one another; and together they symbolize the challenges of our time to create a sustainable society.
“Schwarzes Gold” rings in an era of rethinking and change.
This film made by I Am Los Angeles and was originally published by the New York Times Op-Doc Series.
During summer breaks, my dad, who worked as a librarian, would bring home Westerns on VHS tape and we'd watch them together. I was fascinated and intrigued by the iconic cowboy characters living out an understated yet dramatic, high-stakes existence against such a spartan, other-worldly backdrop. Sure, much of this was a Hollywood fantasy, but the west truly was once the land of cowboys and indians. And now, in a relatively short period of time, things have changed quickly. Instead of sprawling ranches dotted with quiet loner cowboy types, the landscape is now largely populated by homogeneous residential communities and big box retailers.
Perhaps out of a desire for life to seem simpler, and less encumbered by the lifestyle inherent to all our modern conveniences, I went looking for the closest thing I could find to that cowboy from the silver screen. This is how I happened upon Gary Leffew, an old-school yet surprisingly gregarious rodeo cowboy with some profound things to share about his philosophy on life and his sport.
After meeting Mr. Leffew, I was haunted by this feeling that he represents an era that is slowly disappearing and becoming part of the region's history. It was this feeling that urged me to make a character-driven short film that would encapsulate his character, experiences with the sport of rodeo, and general outlook on life.