<2013 Merit Award>

The inspiration that came from the Japanese cushion.
“Stoop” can be used indoors and outdoors by everyone, enabling them to sit down or gather together anywhere.

  • Stoop
  • Stoop
  • Stoop

*Only available for purchase in Japan.


The creation of “Stoop” has been achieved. “Stoop” can be easily carried around and used indoors and outdoors by everyone, from children to the elderly, enabling them to sit down or gather together anywhere. This new kind of public furniture that liberates the ways people can enjoy themselves and work was awarded the Merit Award in KOKUYO DESIGN AWARD 2013 that had the theme “HAPPY×DESIGN”.

Yuka giving her presentation at the final review.

The source of inspiration for “Stoop” was a cushion placed on a bench in a local railway station.
“It was kept clean by the people using it without any form of mischievous behavior towards it. When I thought about the person who made this cushion and tied it in place, I felt impressed by the attitude of the Japanese who can think one step ahead of the user.”
For the creator, Yuka Hiyoshi, who went to live abroad alone for a long time from high school, this was a scene of “consideration for others” which she came across after her long absence from Japan.


We repeated the desk calculation using 3D-CAD and the actual model creation and verification many times to examine the optimum shape, strength, weight, etc. We made our overall decision based on points that included the functional aspects, such as comfort and portability.

The inspiration that came from the Japanese cushion, developed to plastic sheeting and was named “Stoop” after the staircase at the entrance which is often seen in American houses. It is connected to the image of quietly sitting and relaxing on the stairs.

The design at the time of receiving the award was rounded, and the resilient plastic and ribbed structure were supposed to allow the center to softly sink when it was sat upon. However, it was ascertained that there were problems with the safety and quality while repeating tests for commercialization. We conducted various verification studies envisaging various scenes for the usage of the product, such as for durability with assumptions for the body weight of the person sitting on it, for the size of the holes that would make it difficult for fingers to enter, and for how to make sure that it does not fly like a frisbee.

Yuka also participated in the commercialization project until September 2015 and changed the design every time she received the verification results. While there were restrictions on quality, Yuka stuck to her desire to express the "Japaneseness" that was also her initial inspiration. In association with the geometric pattern, she came across the ancient Japanese "shippo pattern". "I thought that the shippo pattern, that means harmony and geniality, was perfect for the concept of “Stoop.” There are also some common points with the geometric patterns used in Islamic and Chinese temples, and I hope that people throughout the world can use the “Stoop” and feel some affinity with it.” (Yuka)

Changes in the design of Stoop (design at the time of the award → design when making verifications → final design)
Ultimately, contrary to the original design, it developed into a shape with a gradual dent towards the center. We achieved a design with a weight that is no more burdensome to carry than a plastic bottle of drink.

The aspect of how to sell the product also overlapped with the design verification process.
Originally, the ideas for usage of the item expanded from not only use in public spaces but also office use, but when we announced this to judges at the design award, they pointed out, “This has become a different thing to what we initially evaluated.” Because this was a product from a new genre we were caught up in the perspective of “how to sell it”.

The type of stools with metal legs, designs with side tables.

While reviewing how to sell it, we reverted to the original concept.
What benefits does “Stoop” bring? Communication between people, a happy space, a little comfort… If such benefits can be produced, we have concluded that there is no need to stick to the concept of the product as public furniture, and we are thinking flexibly to expand the target to consumers.

We also envisaged collaboration proposals for the kinds of outdoor events where many people gather and share some moving moments, such as firework displays and music festivals. On December 20, 2017, we made a limited sale of the JAXA commercialized licensed item "Stoop (Epsilon version)” at the Epsilon rocket launch observation visit site in Kimotsuki Town, Kagoshima Prefecture.
For details: (press release)

From the presentation sheet at the time of entry.

Finally, we asked Yuka about her expectations for the future of Stoop. "I would be happy to see it being used casually, even if it's not a special scene at all, like when you are playing in a neighborhood park or when you are gardening in your garden." With the purity of the original idea of "HAPPY × DESIGN", the creator and the members of KOKUYO have been brushing up the way of designing it and selling it in a flexible way. As a little everyday happiness, or as part of some deeply moving moments shared by many people, it would give us pleasure if "Stoop" could be close to everyone and support them.