The last time I visited Japan (over a decade ago) the Narita Express, the high speed train that whisks you from the airport to Tokyo, looked like this:
However, it's since received a pretty sick re-design by industrial designer Kenji Ekuan, who famously designed the original Kikkoman soy sauce bottle:
The futuristic-looking train made its debut in 2009--which means Ekuan, who was born in 1929, designed it in his seventies. Talk about staying sharp in your old age!
Sadly Ekuan, a former trustee of Art Center, passed away in 2015 at the age of 85. His design firm, the GK Design Group, lives on.
One would think that you couldn't mistake this train for anything else. Yet my father and I got on the train just before the NEX pulled in, thinking it was also going to Narita. That took some scrambling but we figured it out eventually, and of course the employees were nice and forgiving...
I was stationed there in the 70’s. The local trains sure didn’t look like that, beautiful, super improvement.
Discovered Kenji Ekuan through this article, very cool ! On epoint though : this is not a high-speed train as it tops out at 130km/H, or 80 mph ...
I’m a lapsed industrial designer. I was born in NYC and figured I’d die there, but a few years ago I abandoned New York to live on a farm in the countryside with my wife. We have six dogs.
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