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■ Featuring "Ice Cream," August 31 to September 29







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■ Now, would tell me also about your experience? What kind of toys did you play with when you were a kid?

S: I would. There are some products they call good toys, at stores. I am sorry, but I never had such a thing at all. I consider it was kind of difficult to obtain, because I was in the country, they were in worse circulation than today and there were little of the well-built neither manufactured inside nor abroad. So I was not so fond of toys. I had created what to play with.


■ Explain concretely.

S: I had carried off a prize and received a doll like Licca-chan. Then, I made the house and the dresses for myself. Apart from that, gathering boxes of sweets and pieces of wrapping paper, I built what was with gimmicks like a playground slide.


■ You loved making something.

S: It was not novel for me to create by hand. My parents were in the conduct of textile manufacture and there was much of cloth around me. Then, I used that and gave my doll dresses. Incidentally, I naturally built the house. I felt more interested in making them than playing. Making was playing, namely.


■ Did that experience influence when you were developing the “Buchi” products?


S: I agree. My childhood made me design the toys which have something not completed. For example, the toy cars are not stereotyped. Children can load them with something and make trains by connecting. I desired to create toys of flexibility. For inducing various ways to play, I was conscious of something incomplete on the development.



Shibata Fumie
Product Designer

Born in Yamanashi.
After working at white goods maker,
built Design Studio S in 1994
She is active widely,
as designed Beads sofa (MUJI),
thermometer MC-600 (Omron),
9h Kyoto (cubic).
She is respected inside and outside,
as the Mainichi Design Award,
the iF Gold Award and other
countless rewards have gone to her.
■ Ma’am, you are a representative product designer in Japan, because you also teach at Musashino Art University and have won iF Gold Award known as the "Design Oscar," not just having designed various daily commodities like toys, furniture and stationery. How about recent toys in Japan?

S: Toys have gained in depth, I suppose. I am sorry that there are not just good ones. Children can touch what is fine if their parents select with deep awareness.


■ Internet and traffic network have expanded, you know.

S: Lots of information go around us, children and parents now. There are many high-quality products although some inferior on the other hand. It is never that recent kids have nothing to play with and then, it is so important what their parents give.


Interview & Text by Misaka Youhei
Thanks to Design Studio S

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