Is Noodle Culture the Cure to your Design Woes?

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Let'??s talk about my ADD for a moment. My day starts something like this '?? print to-do list. Start working on first item. Have random thought. Open Google and type in random thought. End of Day. That being said, my writing tends to work the same way. It happened this morning when one of my favorite sources of random design goodness DesignTaxi  posted that Japan'??s Nissin Foods had opened an Instant Noodle Museum in Osaka, Japan. Yes kids, you heard that right. The food that every chef/foodie/mom has scorned because of nutrition-less-ness now has a museum in its honor. Take that health food! Like there could ever be a museum dedicated to broccoli, anyway.

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So you'??re thinking, '??What on Earth would be in a Ramen Noodle Museum? Petrified Cup O'?? Noodle?'? Since you asked, all things ramen starting with its invention, a library filled with books of noodle food culture, and my favorite, the Handmade Chicken Ramen Hands On Workshop. For a fee, you can make and create your very own ramen cup in whatever random flavor your can thing of. (I want to know if I can get Bacon flavored ramen).

What does this have to do with design? After salivating over this Cup O'?? Awesome museum it really got me thinking about noodle culture and the little restaurants that serve up steaming hot bowls of goodness. Even more so, how we could take their design premises and apply them at home. So just for you five Noodle Design Premises so that you too can eat your ramen (or fish sticks or TV dinners) in designer excellence.

Noodle Design Premise 1 '?? The Ceiling is a Wall Too

Beijing Noodle No 9 Las Vegas

Yes Virginia'?¦that flat plane above your head? It's not simply a white void that hangs above your head and keeps your furniture from blowing away. So maybe it does keep your furniture from blowing away but your ceiling should also be a part of your design scheme. Tie it into the overall aesthetic by working in the design motif below it. Paint it a color other than white (darker colors do not always make rooms look smaller). Add a great light fixture or graphic element. Be like Beijing Noodle No. 9 and go fretwork if you must. But please, don'??t let the ceiling feel left out.

Noodle Design Premise 2 '?? Drama Isn'??t Just Limited to High School

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We all saw Mean Girls. And Beverly Hills 90210. As a result we'??re all afraid of a little drama. We abstain from it. Abhor it. It'??s not allowed to cross the threshold from our acne ridden teenage lives into our real '??I have bills to pay'? adult lives. But the reality is that a little drama does the home good. Take a cue from this ramen restaurant in New York. Paint a wall black. Hang red random objects from the ceiling. Go for it. Show those Mean Girls that you Mean Business. And remember'?¦ if it'??s just paint, you can repaint it later if it makes fun of you.

Noodle Design Premise 3 '?? There is Nothing Wrong with Bold Graphics

ANAN Noodle Bar by Hosoya Schaefer Architects

So your children (if you have any and I'??m assuming that you'??re reading a site called Momtrends because you do) are most likely going to be with me on this one. If there is anything the Japanese have conquered in the design world it is the use of bold graphics. Mind you, I don'??t mean stick-on NASCAR or Tinkerbell murals. Want to keep the dining room from feeling formal? Paste up Happy Suns and weird looking blob characters like the AnAn Noodle bar in Japan. Family room too stiff? Go all Murakami on it'??s a'?¦ I mean butt. My personal favorite? Graffiti. Los Angeles spray-paint street style graffiti. It deserves a spot in every home.

Noodle Design Premise 4 '?? Even Small Spaces Deserve Some Love

Noodle Shop Tokyo Issho Architects

If there is one thing that many design rags miss it is that you don'??t have to live in 6,000 square feet to have a truly amazing design. Actually, New Yorkers probably know this premise (and execute it) the best simply because they'??re used to living in closets or apartments the size of a closet. You, owner of the closet, have the biggest challenge of all but it is you that can have the most impressive of results. Don'??t think that because you have a small space you can'??t apply the design elements of your larger brethren. For this Noodle Shop in Tokyo it is the lit ceiling waves and floor to ceiling maple panels. For me, I love to hang great larger chandeliers in small spaces just because I can. Who doesn'??t love crystal dripping above their heads even if it is in the laundry room?

Noodle Design Premise 5 '?? Just Because You'??re Eating Noodles Doesn'??t Mean You Can'??t Eat Off the Good China

Taiwan Noodle House by Golucci International Design Beijing

Once upon a time it was felt that the '??Good China'? was meant for special occasions and those times when the boss was over for dinner. As much as I love the Mad Men era, times have changed and that is no longer the case. Take the Taiwan Noodle House in Beijing as an example. Aside from many grandmothers'?? worth of china hanging from the wall, the display from above is nothing less than dazzling. Pull out all the stops and I guarantee you'??ll forget you'??re eating fish sticks and boxed mac n'?? cheese. Even better? Many newer dishwashers have settings for the not so dishwasher safe wares so you can avoid the dishpan hands.

So please enjoy these premises. Use them. Apply them. Wax on, Wax off.

And if you'??re ever in Osaka (or if you actually live in Osaka), please, for me, make a stop at the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum. I'??ll totally be your best friend if you bring me a cup of bacon flavored ramen. We'??ll braid each other'??s hair and everything.

Brandon Smith is principal of the San Diego based spatial design company D.Coop. Focusing on sustainable, workable, and budget friendly design, he provides In The Box solutions to Out of the Box questions. You can follow him on Twitter @dcoopsd

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