After years of pandemic isolation and inescapable self-reflection, the paradigm shift toward prioritizing well-being and environmental concerns appears to have stuck.

This month, On: Design highlights a few thoughtfully conceived products that foster social connections, respect the environment and reflect a growing desire for a slower, more mindful lifestyle.

In 2021, the Tokyo Designplex Institute’s social design department established Sadamaranai Obake, a team of four designers — Toko Takano, Sakiko Matsumoto, Eo Cho and leader Mizuki Koudo — with an unusual objective: improve contemporary Japan’s relationship with bereavement.