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日本には驚くほどの技術力を持った企業が多数存在します。主に産業用途向けの超吸水性素材の開発と販売を手がけてきたアイオン株式会社もその一つで、半導体製造工程における精密洗浄など、特殊で高度な仕様が要求される分野でその素材の能力を発揮してきました。

 

体積の約90%が微小気孔でできているというこの特殊素材を初めて手にした時の何とも言えない感触、そしてそれを水に浸した時の吸水力は衝撃的で、o-labはこのハイテク素材を日常生活の中に生かしたい、との思いに駆られました。一方、市場に溢れるスポンジなどの水回り製品は、ほとんどが直方体や平面的なものばかりで、キャビネットの中にしまって置かれることが多いのが実情です。立体的で愛嬌のある形状や快活で楽しげなカラーリングを特徴とする、インテリアとしても楽しめるプロダクトの開発は難航を極めましたが、試行錯誤の末、アイコニックな印象の中にも技術屋気質溢れるアイオン社のDNAが滲み出た、魅力的で不思議なあたらしい「吸いモノ」たちが生まれました。水滴を想起させる愛らしいシズク、硬そうな風貌とのギャップが楽しいイシという2種の超吸水性オブジェ。一方、リョウカ、ハスという名の超吸水性コースターはグラスを持ち上げると弾力性により元の立体形状に戻り、表面積の増加による乾燥時間の短縮という機能も特徴的です。suuuのデビューとなった展示会では、歴史ある技術が説得力となって感じられつつも学術的な印象に偏り過ぎぬよう考慮した半袖の白衣を使用し、暮らしを想像させる木製テーブルとの共存による「先端技術とライフスタイルのハイブリッド」として表現しました。

 

第2期プロダクトは、時間をかけて乾いていくという本素材の性質を、ゆっくりとした水の放散として逆に利用したもの。文字通り大理石の模様をイメージさせる、一点一点の表情が異なる色とりどりの「マーブル」は、新たに開発した革新的な製法により生み出されます。専用のアロマウォーターとシャーレ型容器によりアロマディフューザーとしても楽しめるあたらしい吸いモノです。

 

There are a number of Japanese companies that have developed ground-breaking technologies.  One of these is Aion KK, who develop and sell super-absorbent materials to clients, mostly industrial concerns.  These are usually clients with specific requirements – such as manufacturers of semiconductors that require super-absorbent materials as part of their precision washing processes – and as such Aion has a proven track record of delivering on unique, highly-specific requirements from clients.

 

Handling a material consisting of around 90% micropores cannot really be put into words.  Seeing how incredibly absorbent these materials are, o-lab could not help but wonder what everyday uses these hi-tech materials might be suited to?  Looking at the design of sponges currently available on the market, the designs are generally square or rectangular, and when they are not being used they tend to be shut inside a kitchen or bathroom cabinet.  It has been a highly challenging process, but o-lab and Aion could not give up on our desire to make a curved design pleasant to both the eye and the hand, with a range of beaming colors that would grace any interior, as well as being of practical use.  After much trial and error, o-lab settled on a pair of designs that are both fascinating and intriguing; iconic shapes infused with the DNA of Aion – a technology company at its heart.  These objets consist of Shizuku – a droplet shape – evoking moisture, and Ishi – a rock – has the image of rigidity and hardness that pleasantly deceives the actual softness of the product.  Ryouka and Hasu are both flat coasters inspired by floral motifs, and – when a glass is lifted up – these coasters revert to 3D shapes where increased surface area has the advantage of a shorter drying time.

 

As a nod to the historical and technological heritage of Aion, the exhibition booth where these items debuted featured staff in short-sleeved white lab coats that gave a somewhat casual impression, as well as a simple wooden table to illustrate the hybridization of our lifestyles with cutting-edge technology.

 

So what is next for suuu?  Our second line of products looks at material characteristics such as how over time they dry out.  Looking at this from the other side, these materials can also be used to slowly release water over time.  Our Marble product line – as the name implies – feature colourful marbled patterns made possible only by our innovative manufacturing method, each one unique and subtly different in appearance.  By combining our Marble with our unique aroma water in a petri dish container, the result is a one-of-a-kind aroma diffuser.

 

 

 

go to : suuu Design gallery
Client

アイオン|Aion

Year

2016 – now

Category
Lifestyle
Tags
brand naming, branding, copywriting, creative direction, logo design, print design, product design, web design