To know MUJI is to love MUJI. The low-priced, logo-free brand borne of the need to clothe and feed a destitute post-war Japan, MUJI has since become an accidental international phenomenon, opening stores across Asia, Europe and North America. Long before Ikea and its promise of a blonde-wood utopia, MUJI was supplying all the stackable shelving, beige porcelain tea sets, and cardboard computer speakers the world could ever want or, more importantly, need.
Honoring its decades of service to common-sensical yet design-conscious customers, MUJI is the subject of the London Design Museum's latest exhibit, launching tomorrow, March 9. Product Fitness 80, as it's cryptically called, the exhibit highlights the best of MUJI's offering over the years, those possessing the most integrity, purest minimalism and finest monozukuri, or craftsmanship. Falling exactly one year after the Japanese earthquake, the exhibit also serves as a reminder of the dangers of materialism and over-consumption. The moral of MUJI has always been to use and enjoy the simpler, humbler things in life.
In typical MUJI mindfulness, admission is free for those with a store receipt.