Hinoki Kogei x Peter Marigold collaboration
Japan, like Italy, has a long tradition of highly-skilled craftsmen and specialty manufacturers. On trend with the larger design community, Japanese designers and manufacturers are working hand-in-hand to elevate public consciousness about the techniques and artistry indigenous to their native crafts. One organization that is doing just this is Japan Creative. Following last year's tsunami disasters, the organization was founded to, "1) rediscover at a fundamental level in the modern world the distinguished aestehetics and tradition-oriented skills of the Japanese, and 2) create and present ideas and products from a new perspective."
Last week in Milan, the first exhibition of Japan Creative was held showcasing prototypes for six specialty product collaborations: Oigen x Jasper Morrison, Hinoki Kogei x Peter Marigold, Pioneer x Paul Cocksedge, Mihoya Glass x Yeongkyu Yoo, Koubei-gama x Inga Sempé and Dome Carbon Magic x Nacho Carbonell. The exhibition, Simple Vision, emphazies the aesthetics that Japanese design is known for: simple, space-efficient and multifunctional, while examining the possibilities found at the intersection of contemporary design and traditional craft. Check out Japan Creative's website for more beautiful process photography from the designers' visits with the manufacturers.
We wrote about the 160-year-old Oigen Foundary's beautiful and functional cast iron cookware last month at the International Home + Housewares Show. Morrison, who is known for his highly functional designs for everyday objects, created a beautiful collection of cast iron cookware that feels both modern and timeless. I especially like the stove-to-oven pot and lid with an integrated wooden serving tray that holds the lid for elegant tabletop presentation.
Dome Carbon Magic creates lightweight and structurally stable carbon fiber developed for high performing racing cars. Their collaboration with avant-garde design darling Nacho Carbonell, created a beautiful seating collection that, "emits a sound using the resilient properties of carbon fiber."
Hinoki Kogei is Japan's leading woodwork factory, founded in 1977 by Chuzo Tozawa. A true collaboration, British designer Peter Marigold was so inspired by the artisanal approach to woodworking he witnessed at Hinoki Kogei, that Chuzo and Marigold began a conversation to incorporate a woodwork technique that has been used since ancient times. The final product beautifully highlights the unique characteristics of each piece of wood.
Paul Cocksedge used Pioneer's organic-EL technology to create a graceful wall clock that radiates soft light on a paper shade. The organic-EL technology makes it possible for one panel to emit light in different colors.
Microsoft industrial designer Yeongkyu Yoo worked with Mihoya Glass to create a luminous double-walled lamp that looks like a bubble erupting from the surface of the table.
Founded in 1804, Koubei-gama ceramics has an incredible history that includes manufacturing painted dishes for the Edo castle and acting as a steward for the ancient technique of creating Oribe ware. Oribe pottery is known for its green copper glaze achieved by firing using oxidation. In collaboration with French designer Inga Sempé, the Container Family incorporates beautiful pop colors and patterns.