WWD Digital Daily
It's not exactly forest bathing, but Muji will soon reveal an arbor- inspired installation in New York City.
As of Thursday, shoppers and passers- by in Hudson Yards can walk through “To the Forest of Verbs with ‘ MUJI IS,'” an exhibition that was inspired by the brand's book of the same name. This will be the first time the immersive experience is Stateside and the unveiling coincides with NYCxDesign, a citywide weeklong celebration of the various disciplines of design that kicks off Thursday and will wrap up May 25. The experience was previously staged in Japan, Singapore and most recently in Malaysia.
The idea is that visitors will leave with a glimpse of Muji's design ethos and highlights of a selection of products from the last 40- plus years. Strategically placed paper cylinders are set up for what is supposed to be a forest- like effect on the fourth floor of The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards. On view through June 4, the installation rests on prime real estate in the shopping center near the entrance to its leading tourist attraction — The Edge, the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere towering 100 floors above Manhattan's far West Side.
Organized by Muji USA Ltd, the exhibition was planned in conjunction with Muji Laboratory for Living. Torafu Architects handled the layout for its design. Akiko Karachi was in charge of the graphic design with Tokyo Studio taking care of the exhibition production. The idea is that visitors will peer into paper cylinder tubes that are each illuminated with a different Muji product, including garments and books.
Considering that Muji dates back to 1980 and is rooted in manufacturing that produces simple, affordable and “good quality products,” there was a plethora of options. Currently, there are more than 1,000 Muji stores around the world, carrying 7,000- plus items. That assortment features clothing, accessories, books, household goods to food and even houses. As was the case in other countries, the installation in the U. S. will be displayed based on the motives behind each product's development. That will be categorized by 15 key verbs, that are displayed with appropriate Japanese verbs like “totonoeru” ( to organize or to put in order) and “ikasu” ( to utilize or to make the best use of.)
The traveling exhibition is meant to introduce people to the heritage and “experimental practices” of Muji, according to Junko Suzuki, MUJI IS exhibition curator, who hopes visitors who walk through the MUJI IS forest will feel as though it is “unlike anything they've ever seen before.”
The venue is not solely designed to be informational though. Hudson Yards shoppers will find a Muji pop- up shop alongside the Muji IS exhibition, featuring a curated selection of products that were created through the design processes and verbs found in the exhibit. Consumers will find include items like the brand's popular Aroma
Diffuser, stationery and other home goods.
— ROSEMARY FEITELBERG