To securely connect Japan's present leading wood industry to the future.
The craftsmanship of shipwright technology that supported the "Awahan" naval forces of Tokushima Prefecture was handed down from the Edo period. This technology developed from the Meiji to the Showa period as a major production area for box furniture that mainly focused on chest drawers, mirrors, and altars. However, Japan's traditional industrial value of production had fallen to 1/5 in the past 40 years. Tokushima's wood industry has been declining year by year, due to changes in modern lifestyle. Along with the rise of cheaper overseas products, Japan's leading box furniture production drove into prosperity. Where the wood industry was going out of business, we questioned what kind of design could revive the industry to create new opportunities for highly skilled carpenters of Tokushima.
A sofa wrapped with molded plywood.
In collaboration with furniture manufacturer "FUJI FURNITURE" of Tokushima Prefecture, we designed a hexagonal sofa, "HEX." HEX is wrapped in wood, presenting the company's leading craftsmanship technology in molded plywood. Through this technology, we enabled curved surfaces, usually difficult to create with solid wood. It also has a function for the armrest as a coffee table.
Although the design was highly appreciated, the original purpose still needs to be reached.
The HEX prototype, although it was highly acclaimed and sold as an unlimited edition, we soon realized that in a crisis-prone production area, this was not enough to make a change. Our original purpose is to create new markets, movements, and relationships through branding and communication strategies, to save as many artisans and production areas as possible. These designs were a part of a series of projects NOSIGNER and Eisuke Tachikawa worked on, as a traditional industrial producer in Tokushima prefecture from 2007 to 2009. This series brought about valuable experiences that would determine our future missions.
NOSIGNER (Eisuke Tachikawa)