Image source Barbican

From a monthly Origami Wonderland workshop at The Snooty Fox pub in Canonbury, to the Barbican’s The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945 is exhibit, Japan is increasingly becoming a visual inspiration source for the Sheridan&Co team.

Whilst origami is a Japanese art, the creative process requires skill and inventiveness. The process itself transforms a single sheet of paper into a sculptural piece with intricate designs. Trading on the art of origami, Lush had origami inspired bags on sale at their brand summit in February.

Bags are opportune for brands to innovate, as it can be the last interaction a consumer experiences in store. However, it can also be a first impression for another consumer walking past someone with a bag.

Whilst origami focuses on sculpture and craftsmanship, Japanese domestic architecture focuses on small design. The Barbican’s exhibit focuses on life after 1945. Yet designing for small spaces could not be more important today.

Image source Barbican

According to the United Nations, by 2030 it is predicted that the world will have 41 mega-cities with over 10 million inhabitants. By 2050, 66% of the world’s population will live in an urban space. At present, Tokyo has 38 million inhabitants and is the world’s biggest city.As creatives look for innovation to design for the future of urban living, turning to Japanese dwellings can prove to influence not just housing design, but also retail.

Yet perhaps more interestingly, the context of post war Japan is worthy of exploration. People were dampened and defeated by the political and economical plight of the war. Their cities were physically ruined and so was their morale. Redesign and rebuild thus became a physical and psychological outlet for reinvention. It acted as a vehicle to heighten the morale of the Japanese.

Powerful design is emotive. It captures attention and inspires. Like post-war Japanese architecture, retail design and brand communication has the opportunity to transform how people feel. And we are looking no further than to Japanese for focusing on craftsmanship, the attention to small detail and minimalist design spaces to reinvent the future of retail.