Japan-based ad agency I&S BBDO puts a new spin on a centuries old Japanese delicacy. In an effort to reignite the seaweed-eating community for their client, the series of laser-cut seaweed known as Design NORI offers a stylized meal to entice consumers. By taking traditional seaweed and cutting intricate patterns into them, each sushi roll created with the edible square is turned into a work of art.
The idea for this inventive food design stemmed from the decline in business for Hiroyuki Umino, who owns a seaweed wholesale and retail store in Ibaraki Prefecture called Umino Seaweed Shop, since the destructive tsunami hit Japan in 2011. Each design scheme is cut into the nori (the Japanese word for the seaweed paper most commonly used for sushi), which needs to be thick because Umino says that thin seaweed is too weak to handle the meticulous incisions. Each design is a separate symbolic representation of positivity—good fortune, happiness, longevity, etc.
Although Design NORI is not yet available for mass distribution or online sale, it is currently on display as part of the KATAGAMI Style - Paper Stencils and Japonisme exhibition at Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum in Tokyo through May 27, 2012.