“Chindogu” is the Japanese term for combining everyday items in a way that would solve a particular problem, but may seem like a far-fetched idea. The term has been popularized by Kenji Kawakami who has written books about these outlandish inventions.
Stanford professor Tina Seelig believes the practice of combining and connecting ideas is an innovator’s tool to increase imagination. Since ideas rarely come out of the blue, Seelig says that it’s by paying attention to one’s surroundings and then putting the pieces together that open up opportunities to solve problems.
Designer Rochus Jacob demonstrates with the Murakami Chair. It combines a rocking chair with a lamp that lights up from the energy generated by the back-and-forth movement of the chair. During the day, the energy gets stored in a battery pack. At night, that energy is used to turn on the attached lamp. If this design isn’t green enough already, no light bulb is required because the lampshade acts as the light source.
Photo credit: designboom
Jacob’s design was the first prize winner of designboom’s Green Life competition in 2009. Social Enterprise Buzz contacted Jacob to ask whether the product is being sold and is waiting on a reply.
Update 2013-09-09 – a reply from Jacob:
I only build one prototype of the chair the components are still [too] expensive in order to mass produce the chair. Unfortunately right now I don’t have enough time to further develop it but it is constantly in the back of my head to take a break and push it to the next level.
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