mui Lab applies the “calm technology” approach to innovate design solutions to create a harmony among humans, the nature that surround them and information technology.
Users’ well-being is a factor too often overlooked in conventional technology design. mui Lab tries to change that and enable a truly peaceful digital living by combining the principles of “calm technology” – which was first proposed by the late American computer scientist Mark Wiser – with Japanese aesthetic techniques, such as the use of blank space and ambience, along with the company’s expertise in engineering and designing.
mui Lab is a calm technology startup headquartered in Kyoto’s Ebisugawa-dori, the four-century-old “furniture district.” The company aims to create technologies that work just like a well-made piece of furniture; they are designed to accommodate humans’ natural and diverse body movements. mui Lab offers services in software and hardware design, for which the company draws inspiration from Kyoto’s traditions and aesthetics that have such an emphasis on a harmony with nature. mui also provides design consulting services to create the best solutions for individual businesses.
mui Lab considers itself as a technological artisan. Just like some of Kyoto’s oldest furniture makers that stand side by side with mui’s office, the company believes in craftsmanship and the special relationship between humans and wood. mui Lab combines some key elements of Japan’s traditional culture with calm technology of the West and the company’s engineering and design powers. mui Lab is now working to develop a business model for its products to grow a new demand for calm technology in the global market.
In Kyoto, mui Lab is in the process of building a 21st Century ecosystem modeled after that of Xerox Parc (Palo Alto Research Center Incorporated) when calm technology was born there in the 1990s. mui’s team is composed of software architects, who are focused on IT designs that promote users’ well-being, and interaction designers who turn the software into user experience. The team also includes business producers, videographers, hardware engineers, artists, researchers, interns, architects and many other talented members from around the world.
Working with a diverse group of people enables the team members to understand the behavioral patterns and lifestyles of people of different backgrounds, which, in turn, helps them improve technology designs, as well as a better way to work together as an organization.