Story Telling for “Reuse”

ReuseJust had a chance to walk around the back street of Harajuku. There were many shops that have opened since last time I was there. I have noticed that all the places that I liked are “Reusing” something.

Aesop has opened their first street shop. All the materials that they are using are scrap wood salvaged from demolished traditional homes. Old medicine boxes have been turned into the bottle holder hanging by the entrance. An old wooden door handle was also used to slide their new glass door. It only opened in December, but it feels like it’s been there for a long time. (Design: Schemata Architecture Office?

Omotesando Koffee is a small cafe that occupies the renovated first floor of a traditional Japanese house. The cafe will only be open till next year, when the building will be demolished. Drinking coffee in their small garden, it reminded me my grandmother’s house, even though this cafe has just opened in January.

Not far from the cafe, there is a shop called Pass the Baton – a new concept for the second hand shop. All the items that they sell have tags with seller’s profile, photo and story related with the item. You are not only buying the item but also getting its story with it.

“Reuse” isn’t just reuse items and materials. Telling the story about the items and bringing that into the design or passing that to the next generation is much more meaningful than mixing up old and new just because they look good. I saw a real value around “Reuse” today.