Ramen spoon/fork (2007)

Client: Sugakico Systems Co., Ltd./Noritake Tableware Co., Ltd.

This was an offer from a leading Japanese tableware manufacturer, Noritake, to update the product design of a spoon/fork for ramen noodles, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of a very well-known ramen shop in Nagoya, called Sugakiya. Takahashi created it with universal design considerations.

The usability of the revamped product was improved, in that both left- and right-handed persons can use it, while the former version was designed only for right-handed people.

She also proposed and designed a smaller spoon/fork for children and for desserts, as she was told there were many family customers. The concept Takahashi had in mind when designing the spoon/fork was that it should enhance the joy of dining for all age groups.

It had been said that the previous version was not very user-friendly, so Sugakiya's customers preferred to continue using chopsticks. In response, Takahashi thought up this new ramen cutlery with which customers could enjoy both the noodles and the soup at the same time, a new style of eating ramen noodles.

In the developmental stage, she created many versions in search of one which would make ramen taste even better than when using a pair of chopsticks, by studying the relationship between the noodles, the tableware, and the cutlery. Eventually, she thought that, because she had been given such a privileged opportunity, she should formulate a concept that would leave a footprint in the history of cutlery, which previously had centered around forks, knives, and spoons. The result was an innovative product.

The spoon/fork was commercialized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2008 and has become a popular item in New York.

Note: The ramen spoon/fork can be purchased at the shops of the Museums of Modern Art in New York and Omotesando, Tokyo, or via MoMA's online shop (price: 1,000 yen).