This post is totally off topic: nothing to do with Identity, WS-*, Orcas, the cloud, technology in general or any of the usual subjects. I'm just sharing with you something I find pretty amazing :-)
It's few months that I have this box on the counter, and my wife has had it. I bought this box back in early March at the Narita airport in Tokyo, Japan: it contained an exquisite green tea cake, which disappeared in few days. I kept the box because I was stunned by the infinite care for the details in such a relatively inexpensive item, and I wanted to blog about it: however the book and other things kept me from doing it until today. I got the ultimatum of putting it away from the counter or having it thrown away, and I knew that if I'd put it in the closet I'd never get back to it again. I am used to nice design, in Italy appearance is often more important than function, however we don't go this far for, again, an after all "normal" item: IMHO it definitely deserves to be "celebrated".
The outside box looks like the following:
I am a bit biased here, since I like both the color and the decorative value of Chinese characters, but I find it nice and essential.
First pretty detail: the sleeve matches exactly the box pattern:
Maybe not rocket science, but the effect is very classy.
Once the sleeve is gone, the way is free for getting to the interior.
The lid and the box itself have folded walls, so that the edge is a flat 1/2 cm strip. Much better than the "single sheet" usual solution. The inside is a bright red, with 4 individual smaller boxes that fit together very, very tight: they fill the space perfectly, still you have no trouble pulling them out.
And that's the pinnacle: the four sub-boxes are all different! And, of course, once they're close they match perfectly to form back the original design (modulo the little diamond seal, which is repeated on all four sub-boxes, and a thin red line that runs on the right side).
Inside every sub boxes there was a thick envelope, with some small devices for checking the humidity level, and pieces of exquisite greet tea cake. As you can imagine, there's nothing left to put in picture :-)
I find the above one of the many signs of an amazing culture. I am looking forward for the next chance to do business there :-)
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I also find the quality of some Japanese-made products amazing..
Can we make this a lesson and try and instill the same level of detail into the products that you and I make? ;)
Sean, I am sure that it is a powerful source of inspiration as much as it is of awe. Ah, that's the beauty of a Flat World :-)
I read a science fiction story once where the society of a extra-terrestrial planet designed their scientific apparatus such as test-tubes, etc. to be beautiful, elegant and works of art. The reason that they did this was that the society wanted nothing more than to be outside communing with nature. They needed to do something to provide an incentive to spend time inside and work in the laboratories.
Here there's the cover sketch for our "Understanding Windows CardSpace" book. As you may have noticed,