Hammer Bank

After months of work, I am happy to publish a piggy bank inspired by Naoto Fukasawa and the philosophy of Familiarism(developed by Nick Baker). The project can be found on Behance Behance. Would love to hear what you think.



Have you got any website or video links for this Familiarism philosophy? I couldn’t find anything with a Google search.

Its a nice form definitely. Agree that you need to elaborate on the familiarism philosophy cause ironically, I don’t think many people are, uh, familiar with it.

Also, the last image is nice but in actuality I can’t imagine trying to sift through the broken ceramic to get my change. I would add a plug to the end of the handle if this went into any sort of production so people don’t need to smash it.

On a different note, I have a piggy bank that holds a lot of foreign coins, but not all fit in it (too large diameter), would be good to see what if you considered different currencies being dropped into it.

Be careful with what you write about your project.

Why do the x shaped slot and material indicate that I should save it for just the right time? I have a ceramic piggy bank, it isn’t shaped like a hammer and I’ve never smashed it. You’ll have to defend anything and everything that could be critiqued or questioned.

The gif works really nicely.

It is a nice concept project. I like the “serious whimsy” of it. As for the stopper idea, I think it ruins the concept a bit, but you could cheat and put a stopper at the end of the handle. It could be interesting if the handle was a different material, so you only smashed the head and then could replace it… but honestly I think the project is nice as it is.

Thanks for all the feedback!

I was first introduced to the idea of familiarism through Nick Baker. I elaborate a bit more in the Behance project, but essentially its connecting familiar actions with new experiences. The best example i’ve seen is Naoto Fukasawa’s Muji CD player. The device is wall mounted and hanging from it is a string similar what you would find on a ceiling fan. When pulled, the CD starts to slowly spin, mimicking the behavior of a fan.

I had the same concerns with the project initially with hurting your hand, and only being able to use the product one time. I was discouraged from this solution because of these factors, but I wanted to continue in the direction because of how simple the concept is. I see this project as more of a conceptual piece rather than a mass manufactured item.

I’ve considered adding a silicone piece on the handle to prevent hurting the user. I am in the works of making a mold for slip casting. Like I said before, I want to make this more as an art piece rather than a mass produced product.

Thank you for all the feedback on the project! Will be modifying some things in the coming days.


In person or as a written piece or in a video lecture? I would like to see some discussion of this subject if it is available.

Will be working on it

Familiarism, hmm well you are not transferring one interaction onto another related context, but rather integrating the interaction of two related objects for a specific context. Anyway this is very charming! Do you intend it to be a 3D printable?

I’ve never been a huge fan of overly contrived design jargon. I think it does us more harm than good in many business settings. I think a clean definition would be minimalism + whimsical analogy. I think it is a response to the “same-ification” of minimalism. Before the 2000’s (and into the early 2000s) semantic analogies (Audi TT, connecting an object to another time and place), emotional design (a lot of things from frog design), irreverence (original iMac) and whimsy (almost everything from Alessi) really dominated, so this style is likely more transitional as the pendulum swings.

but essentially its connecting familiar actions with new experiences. The best example i’ve seen is Naoto Fukasawa’s Muji CD player. The device is wall mounted and hanging from it is a string similar what you would find on a ceiling fan. When pulled, the CD starts to slowly spin, mimicking the behavior of a fan.

We don’t need another word for this. It is called “intuition”

I saw this was covered on Yanko! Congrats. An Incentive to Save Your Money! - Yanko Design

Just curious, did they have you pay a fee to get covered? I sent them a submission and they responded with a bunch of compliments… and also a set of fees to post.

Thank you!

I did not, I just submitted a comprehensive press kit. They put it on the site, but not social media.

For everyone who wants to learn more about Familiarism, check out Nick’s article on it!

I think this is honestly pretty pretentious. So he’s some guy online who looked at Fukasawas’ style really hard and then came up with this new “design style” that he puts next to things like modernism and minimalism? I’m sorry but I think he has no idea about design theory and never really digged into contemporary design discourse. I would suggest him to read a proper book on that topic, eg. “The semantic turn” by Klaus Krippendorf which deals with this topic and many more in great depth. If he says he did research if something like this already exists and “came back empty handed” I would say he didn’t really look very hard in the first place.

It’s not necessarily a new design style, but rather a way of thinking and creating more intuitive products. Nick is pretty pretentious btw

Well I like the way of thinking because he ends up at a playful, accessible style like Fukasawa.
Of course it can use some more refinement. And it is not new, look at various Dutch designers for example who recontextualize familiar interactions all the time. But I am also highly skeptical of a theoretical approach of academics who are not actually practising design. Theory is not reality for design, not even close and I prefer to keep building.

Ouch. Have you met Nick? I’ve met him a few times and did not find him to be pretentious at all. I did find him to be hard working, thoughtful, ambitious and generally affable. Those are the characteristics of someone I’d want on my team.

While I might not think it was necessary to put an “ism” on this way of designing which is essentially covered in post modernism, I do think it is valuable to write about your thoughts and put them out into the world as way of solidifying your thinking. I wouldn’t call someone pretentious for doing that… especially if I was using that writing to justify my own design decisions. It seems a bit off to site the person as a reason for what you did and then insult them… unless I’m reading this wrong and it is supposed to be some kind of joke.

Haha just messing with him. He is a super thoughtful designer. I think the concept is interesting, and will continue to use it through my career. Nick’s great haha

Gotcha, thanks. That kind of joke usually doesn’t read well on the internet without the context of the relationship. No tone on the internet without lots of emojis :slight_smile: