Your chopsticks can make your food taste better, claims Hashikura Matsukan, a chopstick manufacturer steeped in 400 years of history. But how can you improve on, or reinvent, something that’s been around for so long? Something that’s been refined so many times? It’s just 2 sticks that taper to a point, right? Well that’s exactly where Oki Sato from Nendo turned to, when he was asked to redesign a series of chopsticks.
“Chopsticks ordinarily come in pairs,” explains Sato, “but the rassen chopsticks are a single unit. They’re separated into two for eating, then rejoined into one form when not in use.” Rassen means helix, and refers to the DNA-like shape used to link the two together.
Another design in the series is kamiai, or interlock. “We put a gap on one of the four sides of the square shaped chopstick, and embedded a magnet, so that the two would snap together in one piece when they are flipped and fitted to each other.
We placed the magnets towards the outside of each chopstick, so that the chopsticks don’t come together accidentally while someone is using them to eat.”