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The Kid Should See This

GRADATIONs, Daihei Shibata’s study of transitions

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Tokyo-based video director and designer Daihei Shibata is well-known for his beautiful work for Design Ah!, Japan’s Peabody award-winning children’s educational program. In this exquisite video study of GRADATIONs, everyday objects experience visual transitions from binary to blended.

Colors mix. Sharp corners soften into a curve. Leaves change. A soccer ball’s pentagons and hexagons blur. Bathroom icons expand across a spectrum. From Shibata:

When we gradate the boundaries between two polarized things, the two become smoothly connected. By blurring the various boundaries, we can find complexity, diversity, and richness of information.

gradient color pencils
gradient coffee drink
The video is accompanied by dreamy Design Ah!-style music with Japanese lyrics that describe what we’re seeing.

…blurring the difference between the two. Make the transition more subtle. Smooth out the differences. The middle. Increase, connect. Gradation, gradation…

gradient bathroom sign
gradient leaves
You can now find Design Ah! episodes on

Watch these related videos next on TKSST:
• It’s different from what you expected
• Unendurable line
• Design Ah! (デザインあ) introduces kids to design concepts
• New York to San Francisco by train in five minutes
• 100 people answer the question, “How old are you?” in Dutch

Bonus: Japan’s 72 Micro-Seasons of Impermanence.

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