We realize some of you may not be familiar with this particular design comp, which this year had Naoto Fukasawa as one of the judges. It's held once every three years and typically draws entries from Asia with just a smattering of contributions from other continents. The competition is based in Asahikawa, a Japanese city in Hokkaido with both a lumber trade and a furniture industry, hence the competition's focus on wood.
As the main material used in the furniture designs for the IFDA (International Furniture Design Fair Asahikawa) is wood, the competition is intrinsically linked to the growth of trees. We believed that twentieth century economic growth was supported by a balance of mass production and consumption, yet the era in which economic growth took priority over environmental issues ended along with the cold war era.
...The survival of every living creature on this earth including humans depends on the conservation of nature....The type of hardwood used in furniture takes more than 100 years to grow from a sapling, and continues to protect our planet throughout this time. We therefore believe that furniture should retain its beauty and functionality for at least half a century with maintenance, and even through recycling.
Therefore, the theme of IFDA 2011 is "designed to last and be loved for generations".
You can see all of this year's finalists here, and see the equally beautiful entries from years past here.