I want to start by saying that I love muji and what their brand represents. I’ve been a fan for a long time and own several of their products.
I must however question/critique muji’s most recent release as it runs counter to all I hold dear about the brand.
I can only conclude that this release represents nothing more than a short sighted, cost effective way of releasing a new product while piggy backing on the success and reputation of a genuine design classic by Fukusawa. To me, none of the philosophies that make muji such a compelling brand are employed here. Allow me to elaborate-
In order to save on cost they have minimized the need for new tooling and retained components that, given its new application as a bluetooth speaker, are redundant. A back-lit LCD in 2013? A radio? A remote control?
A good design is done when there’s nothing left to take away - muji more than anyone have understood this principle - which leaves me to only conclude that the design curators at muji were somehow left out of the decision to release this.
Here’s how it should look.
The device should exist as a slave to your smart phone - which contains all of the functionality required to use the speaker (even a radio if you so wish).
Oh, and keep the pull cord of course!