We just loved this idea – in the turmoil of our busy lives to quieten down and observe the play of water – so simple, so soothing, so beautiful.
Japanese design engineer Kotaro Watanabe of Takram, will be a guest speaker at this Year’s Business Of Design Week (BODW). Watanabe has directed a number of projects reflecting on the concept of water and rain – particularly through the ‘storyweaving’ workshop and water-repellant toy ‘Furumai Hitoha’.
‘Umbrellas of rainbow’ was a result of the ‘storyweaving’ workshop where in-house designers and engineers of Japanese enterprises were‚ encouraged to inform their work with a strong ideological framework and reference to narrative.
The piece is an umbrella that, at first, appears to be grey but in fact is fabricated from one-sided deflection film so that when two umbrellas overlap, a vibrant color pattern reminiscent to that of a rainbow is revealed from the imbrication. The colors continue to transform as the umbrellas are twirled.
The concept was generated in an effort to offer opportunities for children to meet and befriend each other and partake in a communication enabled by rain, providing a metaphorical ‘bridge’ to lessen the distance between human relationships.
‘Furumai Hitoha’ also explores the idea of liquid through the language of games.
The structure is created through a water-repelling‚ sheet of paper that is folded like a traditional japanese bamboo-leaf boat so that when water is dripped on to this dish-like form, it rolls and tumbles in a unique way.
The piece was named ‘Furumai Hitoha’ – with ‘Furumai’ translating to behavior and ‘Hitoha’ meaning single leaf – after its resemblance to how a rain droplet moves across a lotus leaf, celebrating the beauty and‚ preciousness of a single drop of water.
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