Keiji Ashizawa - Ishinomaki Bench (front left); Taiji Fujimori - "Endai" bench (front right)
Located in the Miyagi Prefecture, just 50km from Sendai, the Ishinomaki Laboratory was established in response to the 3/11 earthquake. With the support of Herman Miller, a team of designers led by architect Keiji Ashizawa created a "public space and community center open for local people, to encourage them to restore and reconstruct the area by themselves."
To that end, Ishinomaki Laboratory provides not only the plans for the understated furniture designs but also training for local high school students, who receive engineering lessons in exchange for their efforts, including workshops with professional designers as the instructors.
In keeping with their mission, Ishinomaki Laboratory hopes to build a sustainable company in order to provide job opportunities for local residents. Representatives from the Lab were happy to share their story and products at the recent InteriorLifestyle show in Tokyo.
Yasutaka Yoshimura's "Saw Elephant" (center) is a riff on a saw horse; the "Skydeck" rail-mounted table (right) was one of several designs by Torafu Architects in the Feel Good Store section of the show Jin Kuramoto - Bird House made from local materialsJin Kuramoto - Bird House made from local materials L: Koichi Futatsumata's "246 Stool" is made from six 2×4s; R: 220 of Keiji Ashizawa's Ishinomaki stools were constructed with the help of elementary school students.L: Koichi Futatsumata's "246 Stool" is made from six 2×4s; R: 220 of Keiji Ashizawa's Ishinomaki stools were constructed with the help of elementary school students. The red cedar stools are fabricated with the guidance of Herman Miller craftsmen
More information (in Japanese) is available at ishinomaki-lab.org.
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Special thanks to Kai Mitsushio, co-founder of wakumi, for assisting with coverage and translations for InteriorLifestyle Tokyo.