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Category Archives: chindogu

You only have to look back through this blog to realise that I have a great love for Rube Goldberg machines. There is something so alluring about the vested time vs the outcome. In a world where we want everything now but we don’t want to put much effort into getting it the Rube Goldberg machine is the antithesis of this. I admire anybody that not only has the imagination to dream up such machines but also embraces the absurdity and invest time and money into the craft of realising their creations.

If you’re like me revel in the absurdity then check out the video below which I found on the NYTimes website. Joseph Herscher’s love for Rube Goldberg machines has lead him to working within the community and is getting him some well deserved interest.

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I recently saw a post on pinktentacle.com about a Master Kenji Kawakami. At first i thought it was a joke the sort of thing you would see in a youtube style viral video. As i watched on i did notice that there was a level of ingenious invention behind the objects Kawakami made. So i did some very rough Internet digging and found out that this inventor is actually a living legend a sort of famous mad professor. Kawakami has hundreds of inventions under his belt and he even coined a phrase which is —– Chindōgu.

wikipedia Chindōgu

Chindōgu (珍道具?) is the Japanese art of inventing ingenious everyday gadgets that, on the face of it, seem like an ideal solution to a particular problem. However, Chindōgu has a distinctive feature: anyone actually attempting to use one of these inventions, would find that it causes so many new problems, or such significant social embarrassment, that effectively it has no utility whatsoever. Thus, Chindōgu are sometimes described as ‘unuseless’ – that is, they cannot be regarded as ‘useless’ in an absolute sense, since they do actually solve a problem; however, in practical terms, they cannot positively be called ‘useful’.

This notion makes me smile and so Master Kenji Kawakami i salute you. I’d like to think that having seen Kawakami’s stuff i can lace some of the fun, humour and ingeniousness into my own work.

here are a few examples of his work:

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