Takayuki Hori's ethical design

Design is certainly an expressive medium, used by some to improve the life of others. At the risk of being unfair, we could say that design is what makes everyday products compelling, from Milano to Tokyo. Products that, once exhausted their function, will be discarded – giving our society the well earned name of 'waste society', with ecological consequences everyone can see.

Or so must have thought Takayuki Hori, winner of the 2010 Mitsubishi Chemical Junior Design Competition. This edition put design at the forefront, as an expressive means, at the service of the non-human victims of consumerism, Japan's coastal endangered species in particular. Takayuki's O ritsunagumono (折り繋ぐ物 – folding and connecting things) reinterpret the age-long tradition of origami. The basic sheets, looking like x-rays, portray the skeletons of birds, other animals, even colorful waste. Once folded, the origami reveals the 3d bone structure of turtles and birds; yet, it also reveals the presence of the pieces of trash that so often endanger their lives, once swallowed or entangled in. Once more, a traditional means of expression like origami finds a way to be relevant by transforming itself from pastime to reminder of the natural world we abuse daily.

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