Sakura: A Cup that Tells a Story

Takanori Urata's Award-Winning Design Marries Function and Sustainability

In a world where sustainability is increasingly important, Takanori Urata's Sakura cup stands out. This unique piece, designed for the Japanese outdoor brand sunsetclimax, combines functionality, aesthetics, and environmental consciousness in a single, beautiful object. The Sakura cup is more than just a drinking vessel—it's a statement about the importance of long-lasting, quality products and the value of natural resources.

Takanori Urata's inspiration for the Sakura cup came from sunsetclimax's concept of a portable villa. The cup's design, with its simple yet beautiful shape, is meant to be timeless, something that users will never tire of. The cup is not mass-produced; instead, it is designed to be loved and used for a long time, reflecting the brand's commitment to quality over quantity. The Sakura cup is a testament to the belief that long-lasting products are the best solution to environmental problems.

What sets the Sakura cup apart from other designs is its celebration of natural resources. Urata studied and found a way to highlight the beautiful grain of the wood in the cup, resulting in a smooth, river-like appearance. The cup's shape, inspired by the act of wrapping both hands around an object, expresses a love for natural resources. As the cup is brought to the mouth, a soft wooden scent fills the air, enhancing the drinking experience. A white and beige mixed color rope serves as a cup holder, with a tiny tied snake knot adding a design accent.

The Sakura cup is handcrafted in Tochigi, Japan, a region known for its beautiful forests and skilled carpenters. The cup is made from Sakura trees that are thinned to maintain a healthy forest. The cup's design makes efficient use of these thinned trees, showcasing their beautiful grain patterns without wasting the wood. The cup is hand-finished by Japanese craftsmen, adding to its charm and uniqueness.

Urata faced several challenges in realizing his design. It took time to find a factory that could produce the Sakura cup exactly as he envisioned it. The design, while simple in appearance, was difficult to make and required the skills of highly skilled craftsmen. The joint between the detachable handle and the cup also posed a challenge, but after much discussion and consideration, a solution was found. The result is a cup that fits perfectly in the hands and offers a soft touch, thanks to the craftsmanship of the Japanese artisans.

The Sakura cup is not just a product; it's a story about the importance of natural resources and the need to pass them on to future generations. It's a testament to the skill and dedication of Japanese craftsmen. And it's a symbol of the potential for design to create beautiful, functional, and sustainable products. The Sakura cup was awarded the Golden A' Bakeware, Tableware, Drinkware and Cookware Design Award in 2023, a testament to its outstanding design and the vision of its creator, Takanori Urata.

Project Details and Credits

Project Designers: Takanori Urata
Image Credits: Main image: Takanori Urata (2022) Optional Image #01: Takanori Urata (2022) Optional Image #02: Takanori Urata (2022) Optional Image #03: Takanori Urata (2022) Optional Image #04: Takanori Urata (2022)
Project Team Members: Takanori Urata
Project Name: Sakura
Project Client: Takanori Urata

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