Tag Archives: paper

Siwa, paper design by Naoto Fukasawa

People have their own favorite designers. My favorite “product” designer is Naoto Fukasawa. He is well known for the designer of the fan-shaped CD player by Muji. I love his minimalist design so much that I flew for his Tokyo studio, Plus Minus Zero, to consider buying a humidifier for the stimulus of my experimental studies. Interestingly, he once worked with Samsung to design its printer.

Johnny @ Spoon & Tamago


Recently, I found his name on an unexpected place. I visited a small store called studio M nearby my house. It sells his paper (or seemingly half-paper-half-leather) products named SIWA. Soon I realized that his design philosophy seems to match low-tech products (e.g., pencil cases and hand bags) more successfully than electronic gadgets (e.g., CD players, humidifiers, and printers), differently from Dieter Rams. “Some” Minimalist design principles may work better for “some” materials or “some” products. 🙂

DML_Naoto Fukasawa 02

DML_Naoto Fukasawa 01

PhD thesis: paper vs. book

Marketing PhD candidates write papers. However, some design PhD candidates publish books. I have received book-format theses from two people who obtained their design PhDs from European universities. I also know of some other design PhD candidate in US  who are presently writing books for their PhD degrees. Why do marketers and designers require different formats of work to obtain PhD degrees?

I believe that design PhDs are asked to have a broad understanding about an area, whereas marketing PhDs are asked to generate specific piece of information from an area. An author of a book (PhD in Design) raises a broad question (e.g., value of design thinking), reviews others’ answers comprehensively, and then makes his/her own argument. Differently, an author of a research paper (PhD in Marketing) raises a specific question (e.g., value of design thinking is greater when economy is good than when economy is bad), reviews others’ answers briefly, and then test the question by performing statistical analysis. In sum, design PhDs make a holistic approach whereas marketing PhDs make an analytic approach.