Nendo Creates Children’s Book to Illustrate How Creative Ideas Are Born

Japanese design studio Nendo has written and illustrated a children’s picture book that tries to describe the way in which creative ideas are born. The children’s picture book tells the story of a cup wanting to solve the problem of lacking a spoon.

“An Idea is like a glass of milk,” said Oki Sato recently. “It’s good when it’s fresh.” Sato, who leads the multidisciplinary design studio Nendo, was talking about his design process and exactly how he is able to to think of fresh and creative ideas whilst balancing close to 400 projects at the same time.

In the book, as soon as the mug realizes that it doesn’t have a spoon to stir coffee and milk, it attempts to solve the issue by transforming itself into a variety of different shapes, all while keeping its primary identity but challenging our preconceived ideas of what it should and can be.

“The overall message of the book is that even the smallest and seemingly boring things in our daily routine can enrich our lives and excite us when given a bit more attention,” said Nendo. Sato wants the book to convey a message to parents – to “be open to their children’s unique imagination, their development of creativity, and to nurture the ability to look at things from a different point of view.”

A range of physical objects were recreated from the book’s illustrations and were shown in an exhibition in Tokyo to launch the book.

from right to left: “let’s have a Cafe au lait and take a little break. Mix coffee and milk… and then stir! But wait…there’s no spoon?”
“It’s okay if there’s no spoon. Leave it to me!”
“How about this? I’ll make by bottom like this. See? Now I spin like a top and can stir!”
“Or…what if I streeeeetch myself out. Then add coffee and milk from both sides…”
“See? It might mix inside me”