FROM CONTEST TO MARKET

Bubble Liner

<2015 Merit Award>

This is a ruler with the scale expressed by bubbles.
By incorporating organic bubbles into tools that we use in our everyday lives that are made up of artificial straight lines, we can acquire the beauty of nature in our daily lives.

  • bubbleliner
  • bubbleliner
  • bubbleliner

Introduction video about products : https://youtu.be/NCDQdQDj994 (YouTube)


*Only available for purchase in Japan.



FROM CONTEST TO MARKET


KOKUYO DESIGN AWARD 2015 invited entries of works on the theme of “Beautiful Lifestyle”.  “Bubble Ruler” that won the Merit Award is an artwork that incorporates natural organic bubbles into a ruler that is composed of artificial straight lines. Both the concept that the user can acquire the beauty of nature in daily life, and the beauty of the artwork itself, received a high evaluation.


Is it possible to inject bubbles into a ruler? This is the first question that everyone who sees the model artwork asks when they set eyes on it. “These are not bubbles” is the reply from the creator, Kei Tsukada. He said that they were made by cutting acrylic board and making it look like bubbles.


Is it possible to inject bubbles into a ruler? This is the first question that everyone who sees the model artwork asks when they set eyes on it. “These are not bubbles” is the reply from the creator, Kei Tsukada. He said that they were made by cutting acrylic board and making it look like bubbles.


As it was a product that would achieve its delicate design by scraping the resin, the first thing that came into our minds was the template. There are actually many variations in the pictorial figures used in templates for design drafting. If such diverse designs have already been realized, then we thought that an expression using bubbles would also be possible.


As expected, it was possible to achieve, but there were two hurdles to overcome. The first one being that when the tip is scraped with a spherical router, the design data cannot be reproduced exactly as it is. So we referred to the data and adjusted the shape of each different bubble one at a time by breaking them down with the movement of the router (in a left to right and up and down direction).


泡の定規

(Left) Inputting the movement of the router while checking the shapes of the bubbles one by one.
(Right) Cutting with the router.

 

The other hurdle was the way to bond the acrylic together. In order for dust not to get trapped inside the shaved bubbles and soil them, the bubbles are confined to the inside by pasting two sheets of acrylic together. As the model artwork was not pasted together but was fitted together, there was a risk of it coming apart, so we studied the method of sticking the acrylic sheets together at the time of transforming the artwork into a product. Because the acrylic is transparent, the trouble was that with normal adhesives the adhesive could easily be seen or that air bubbles could enter at the time of pasting the sheets together. However, finally we used a tape with a very high degree of transparency that is also used for items such as liquid crystal panels to bond the acrylic and were able to achieve a finish where the presence of the tape is not perceived at all.


泡の定規

(Left) Any trace of the tape used for bonding has completely disappeared.
(Right) The creator, Mr. Tsukada, also went to the factory with us.

泡の定規

The scales on the side.

For the commercialization of this artwork there were some points added to the specifications. A scale in units of 1mm was inserted on the side. In the artwork at the time of the award there were only bubbles placed in the 1cm units and there was the feeling of wanting people to enjoy the ambiguity of its function as a ruler not being completely fixed. However, at this stage, we want it to be owned by a lot of people, so we added a little practicality to it in a small way by inserting a scale in gray to a degree as not to destroy the conceptual perspective of the work.


We think that there are many people who lead a very busy life every day. We would be happy if you all placed this “Bubble Liner” somewhere close at hand and, through its existence, receive a little healing in your daily life.