Alvin In The Room: Journal

Visiting stationery shops

Traveler's Factory, Tokyo, 2015.

Traveler's Factory, Tokyo, 2015.

For me, a stationery shop is not the place to purchase the products, but is the venus to understand locals’ life, especially that what writing tools the students are using, and what they are learning.

In recent years, some stationery shops sell beautiful stationery products, or what they sell is the lifestyle stated by them. The trend is also due to the popularity and the changes in meaning of analog world. We can still live without stationery because of the emergence of digital world, but stationery can play a better role in transferring love and it can contribute to a better life. Journalize and TOOLSS in Hong Kong are the examples, and the latter is also the cafe to let people engage in life with good stationery products.

No matter what kind of stationery shops are, all the products are designed before introducing to the market. They carry some functions which were discovered by accidents, or they were manufactured to address some problems at that time. When you visit stationery shops, you can think like James Ward, the author of Adventures in Stationery, that how a stationery product was invented and how it could function like this and that.

So visiting a stationery shop can be a great idea especially traveling overseas, as it’s a museum about design and society.

文具店為我來說,不只是購買文具的地方。它是一個讓自己了解當地居民的生活面貌場所,尤其是正在唸書的學生,究竟他們還需要使用什麼文具、學習寫什麼字等。文具店都提供了它的答案。

而近年來風格文具店的興起,反映了電腦的普及對於手寫和手繪質感的重視和要求。文具在必定性的確由電腦所取代,但是它的意義卻專注在傳達心意、生活風格方面。在香港如「文簿房具」、TOOLSS都是表表者,當中後者更是咖啡店,將文具演繹成為美好生活的一部分。

不論是一般只需要添加必需品就完成功能的文具店,還是展現生活風格的那種,文具店裡面的各式各樣產品,都是設計。設計不只是外觀或包裝,設計新的文具,可以是無意中發掘出現的新種類,也可以是針對當時使用問題而出現的產物。若你讀過《誰把橡皮擦戴在鉛筆的頭上?──文具們的百年演化史》(Adventures in Stationery)的話,想在文具店你會思考每一件文具如何走出來、為什麼它是這個樣子,還有為什麼會有這些功能。

所以,如果你在旅行,不論是本地還是外地,文具店可以是其中一個不錯的主意。藉此去了解日常生活、社會和設計,它是一座活博物館!
 

Journalize, Hong Kong, 2015.

Journalize, Hong Kong, 2015.

Chung Nam Book & Stationery Co. Ltd, Hong Kong, 2016.

Chung Nam Book & Stationery Co. Ltd, Hong Kong, 2016.

TOOLSS, Hong Kong, 2015.

TOOLSS, Hong Kong, 2015.

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