Field Trip: MUJI @ MoMA

On Sunday, my friends and I made a sojourn to the downtown MoMA Design store. I wanted to check out the MUJI wares that I posted about earlier, and my friends were convinced by the promise of browsing their mostly excellent bookstore. (Icing on the cake: they have a table of sale books at the moment, some stuff is 75% off.)

MUJI was something of a disappointment to me. I love well-designed stuff that is inexpensive, which is why I so often go into a total fugue state when shopping at Target Unfortunately, a lot of the MUJI stuff looked just plain cheap. There’s a preponderance of semi-opaque plastic storage pieces which make it feel a little too Bed(lam) Bath & Beyond for my taste. Also, I personally find the texture of that plastic to be loathsome. If I was looking to outfit my dorm room inexpensively, some of those items might be of use to me, but as the grown-up person that I am, no.

The stuff that worked for me: The notebooks, which have plain thin cardboard covers and narrower-than-college-ruled sheets. At $4 for 5 notebooks, they may well threaten my devotion to Clairefontaine‘s bound journals. Since bringing them home and removing them from their shrinkwrap, I’ve noticed that the covers curl up, which could be annoying. But still, nice feel, I love the narrow rule and the fact that the books are bound instead of stapled.

In the charming but probably not worth the money category are the cardboard speakers pictured here. They come in a flatpack (you can see them in the bin behind the constructed speakers in the photo) and you assemble them yourself. I can’t imagine that they produce great sound, but I love the concept. In the end though, I’d never buy them for myself and were I buying a gift, I could probably put $42 to better use.

Later on in the day, we ran into friends who said that the selection at this particular store wasn’t representative of the line as a whole. Mirabelle mentioned that the stores in London stock a lot more of the bath products that she loves and assured me that it’d change my opinion of the product line. I don’t see myself getting on a plane to London anytime soon, alas. A reader report from London would be great though, so if you love your MUJI stuff and want to share it, email jen AT unbeige DOT com.