Manabu Tago (MTDO)

Design: MTDO (Manabu Tago), Japan
Manufacturer: Narumi Corporation, Japan

Special: Red Dot Best Practice

MTDO, Japan

While manufacturers and designers around the world are being invited to register their works for the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2014, we are presenting you with a selection of the award-winning works from last year’s competition in this special publication.

In 2013, Manabu Tago from MTDO received the Red Dot: Best of the Best for the outstanding design of the open tableware system “OSORO”.

“The Osoro tableware system brings joy to everyday life. It follows the concept of merging different things into a fresh and clear language of form. The modular design facilitates a myriad of uses – the function constantly adapts to the need. The combination of traditional materials with new ones creates an appealing contrast”, stated the Red Dot jury.


Modular lightness

Tableware has always been an expression of the contemporary zeitgeist. In the 1920s, Bauhaus designer Walter Gropius for instance created simple and distinctive plates and bowls that merged the areas of table and kitchen through their functionality. The design of the Osoro defines contemporary tableware according to the maxim of a highly functional and formal openness. This tableware system aims at presenting a straightforward solution for everyday life as it adapts easily to people’s changing demands and lifestyles. Coming in different sizes, the various Osoro tableware items are compact in design, easy to stack and offer users a multitude of individual variations and combinations.

For storing dinner leftovers in the fridge or keeping them fresh for a short period, Osoro offers the possibility of sealing the bowls and plates with differently coloured lids – a perfectly matched silicon ring keeps the foodstuffs inside well protected. Due to this new interpretation of modularity and functionality, the gaps between the areas of cooking, refrigerating, freezing and storing are bridged easily. The Osoro tableware offers a multitude of aesthetically pleasing form and colour variations – it conveys a new sense of lightness that connects all areas of life.

Red Dot: Is there a role model that inspired your work?
Manabu Tago: Similar functionality can be seen in the dinner bowls of Japanese monks. Coupled with traditional Japanese philosophy this functionality has made our product internationally successful.

Which trends have a particularly strong influence on the design of today?
In today’s world of super-abundant goods all trends are influential. So there has to be a well-defined reason for introducing yet another product to the world. When designing, it is important to do so with speed so that challenges can be solved in a deliberately ecological way.

How would you define the term “design quality”?
Quality is achieved when the concept and role of a product firmly connect with the sensitivity of the customer.