Most designers with a passion for what they do will tell you that design is present in everything they do – the clothes they wear, the way they decorate their house, the art they make for their walls, the publications they subscribe to. Design as a way of life is also very present in much of traditional Japanese culture, which is perhaps why it’s always struck a chord with me. Their sushi, zen gardens, tea ceremonies, and kimono patterns are all designed precisely and symbolically.Bento boxes, a traditional format of Japanese meal preparation, are apparently making a big hit right now in the US as a way to add appeal and variety to food as well as limit portions. This certainly appeals to me as a designer, as a novel and creative way to think about lunch (not sure I want to spend 30 minutes every day making lunch, however). The New York Times has recently posted a slideshow on people and their Bento habits, which you can view here.