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Sinking Muji's best-practice principles deeper into the global product design concious, the Japanese retailer is holding its first Muji International Design Competition. The thesis is "Sumi," (meaning to the side) and the challenge to studios and individuals is designing an object for the side of the room.

In a world where products are designed for meeting a price-point through volume, Muji thinks creatively about input material and manufacturing cost. Essentiallly and with elegance, form follows ability to fabricate.

Designers are allowed to submit any object, and submissions are being accepted from 15 May to 31 August 2006. Jasper Morrison will join Muji staff in selecting the winning entries, which will be announced in mid-November 2006 on the Muji website. The winning design earns a very nice US$20,000 prize (and a lot of press).

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