Design

The perfectly pointless world of Marina Fujiwara's 'wasted creations'

Whimsical, magical, useless. All of these words describe the 27-year-old creator's inventions and projects. But they only scratch the surface.

"A Machine that Hangs with a Wad of Money"

Is a looming deadline not enough to motivate you to get off Twitter and back to work? How about a wad of cash that gets waved across your face back and forth? Definitely more carrot than stick. (And hygienically worrisome in this economy.)

Also known as the "Motivation Machine Easy Type," Fujiwara imagines the money-waving contraption attaching to the top of a laptop and helping to keep writers inspired and on track. All we're wondering is whether we can legitimately expense the parts to make one of our own.

Yo Noguchi

Fujiwara exists in the same strange corner of the maker internet as bad robot maker, Simone Giertz. Some of her creations are practical — if a little anti-social — like a white cane for the visually impaired that emits a loud scream when someone bumps into it...

...others are art projects that interrogate our relationships with objects, the internet, and ourselves.

"Slang telephone," a project from April 2020, consists of cups and string and enables the wearer to talk to themselves, literally. Like shouting into the void, but the void shouts back.

"Selfie Stick from Below"

Meanwhile, this project ensures your selfies are always taken from the least flattering angle.

Seriously.

Not Flattering.

At all.

We get the impression Fujiwara's names for her projects are wild at the best of times, but translating them into English makes sure of it.

First, there's "A Machine that can be Titanic Alone," (which is really just a mannequin's head, worn like a backpack, that's designed for recreating the iconic scene from James Cameron's film anywhere you please).

Then there's the bizarre, and oh-so-Japanese, "Machine to Mutter with 'Purple Mirror.'"

"Machine to Mutter with 'Purple Mirror'"

Murasakikagami (purple mirror) is an urban legend in Japan that claims if you remember the word on your 20th birthday, you'll die. Fujiwara's machine uses a smartphone to remind you of the word just before your 20th birthday and illuminates a mirror with purple light for good measure.

And let's not forget "Bread with a Higher Chance of Bumping," which Fujiwara describes as "bread that increases the chance of meeting a boy," and boils down to her running around a street corner with a slice of bread hanging out of her mouth, bumping into strangers, and hoping it leads to love, in a real-world recreation of an anime myth.

Our favorite of Fujiwara's many creations, though, is one of the simplest.... but also the cruelest.

"Stepping on Lego Sandals"

Which is exactly what it says on the box: A pair of sandals with built-in Lego.

Or, as Fujiwara describes them: "It is a sandal that can feel that pain on a daily basis."

If that's not the perfect product for 2020 with the perfect tagline, we don't know what is.

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