Nissin’s Cup Noodles container is as recognizable an icon in Japan as the Campbell’s soup can is in the United States. It even has its very own museum in Yokohama, where gaggles of impressionable schoolchildren can satisfy their curiosity about Momofuku Ando, the inventor of Chicken Ramen, the world’s first instant ramen. And now visitors can also pick up some souvenirs by Japan’s foremost design studio, Nendo, which was commissioned by the museum to riff playfully on the noodles’ distinctive cup.
For its Forms collection, Nendo created distorted porcelain versions the classic Styrofoam vessel--slicing, stretching, melting, squashing, and blowing it up--that nevertheless remain recognizably Cup Noodles. According to Nendo’s press release, “Even minute changes to the form of the Cup Noodle container give it a very different impression” and “remind us that the line between the ordinary and the extraordinary is infinitely fine.”[Photos by Hiroshi Iwasaki]