For Designer Cynthia Chen, Home Is Where The Snacks Are

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Home is where we find solace, refuge, and comfort. Where we lay our head every night takes on more significance in the cold and dreary winter, especially this one, as our domiciles continue to also serve as offices, gyms, and classrooms.

Making our homes cozier was a project many took on as stay-at-home orders emptied downtowns and office buildings everywhere. Changing up our fortresses of solitude also means making changes that provide a comfortable environment, and few things can inspire a sense of wellbeing more than snackfoods.

San Francisco-based Asian-American designer Cynthia Chen took on rugmaking as a quarantine hobby, drawing inspiration from the iconic snacks she’s loved since childhood, starting with Spam. Brand social media managers being as good as they are at searching for themselves (a totally normal thing to do), immediately took note and admired the project enough to retweet it. All the rugs get made by punch-needling, an old-school technique that creates a highly-textured surface made of loops that can’t help but bring coziness to a room.

Other brands in the series include Calbee Shrimp Chips, Yakult, White Rabbit candy, and Pocari Sweat. Besides being long-standing Asian snacks, all of these brands also feature iconic packaging, instantly recognizable and so familiar that they evoke a feeling of nostalgia and being home.

I love how iconic these package designs are,” Chen told Apartment Therapy. “If you removed the product name from the Spam can, Yakult bottle, or Calbee Shrimp Chips bag, you would still know exactly what that snack is.”