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.
Changes in production value of
traditional craft industry.
A wooden shelf with the ultimate thinness.
Together with craftsmen of furniture manufacturer "MOTOBAYASHI kagu " in Tokushima Prefecture, we designed the storage shelf "TRUSS," with sharp, clean edges. This product name comes from "truss structure," which has triangles as its basic unit that results in a sturdy structure. We applied this truss structure to TRUSS, where the shelf board resulted in looking approximately 3mm thick, by bringing the three plates into the corners of the structure. Contrary to its sharp and light shape, together with Tokushima's high technology, it can withstand a weight of approximately 100kg.
Although the design was highly appreciated, the original purpose still needs to be reached.
TRUSS is highly regarded in various fields, including the 2009 Good Design Award. This project, using the power of design, created a new point of contact between traditional technology and consumers. However, we realized once again that it was impossible to compete with only one good design for a production area in a situation in crisis. Our 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)