empowering artisans through the eye of design.
Product Design, Craftsmanship
In collaboration with
Lana de Colón - José Antonio Morales, Virginia Lozano, Daniel García
Seikado - Japaenese Internatinal Cooperation Agency
How to help three craftsmanship workshops, with different economical, geographical, and cultural background, but with the common interest to reach to a younger generation?
lana de colón. A traditional wool weaving workshop in rural México, who is facing the death of the craft due to the lack of interest from the next generation to work on the technique.
TWO. ASADA KAWARA FACTORY
Asada Masahisa, is the 3rd generation master craftsman, the last maker of traditional handmade tiles.
Asada Kawara is the only factory which still produces Kyoto tiles by hand.
Kyo-gawara, the tiles that cover the roofs of temples and shrines. Kyoto tiles, are made from high-quality clay, polished with a metal spatula until they are shiny and fired in a kiln at a high temperature.
when we don't speak the same language...
we watch, read, and try.
Asada San is a master on his craft.
Asada Kawara Factory major clients: European artists and restoration studios.
Traditional houses are passed by generation, so building houses is getting more practical and simple.
Japanese's youth population (15-54 years old) of just the 46%, they are still 60 000 000 people.
Honor traditions is very important. Using a mix of old a new Japan every single day of their lives.
Japanese does tend to invest in pieces with a meaning behind it are very important.
Approaching to a Japanese market by rediscovering the material and its virtues that allow it to go out of the box. Keeping as much as possible of the technique as a way to honor the tradition and its cultural value. Honoring the artisan and his lifework by being as faithful as possible to the Asada Kawara Factory.
As a ceramic material, it can be a great sound conductor, making of this a sensorial experience, the design focuses on a contemporary object: A SOUND AMPLIFIER. The tile shape makes it a functional design by changing the insides un a cone shape to maximize the sound, and honoring the form that gave life to the technique. Using only equipment that already exist in the workshop showcases the possibilities of new design with minimal investment and just a new perspective, in order to be faithful to Asada Kawara Factory.
NAKANO SUMMER LABO. In summer 2017, as part of Nakano Labo at Kyoto Institute of Technology, I worked with Asada San, to create this new product, for EDGE. VOL10: DENTO NO MUSHI or THE BUG OF TRADITIONAL CRAFT exhibition.
wara. kawara for everyone
ONE. lana de colón
José Vega is the leader of the artisans. His two older sons have moved to the capital, therefore he works on the craft alone, like every other wool workshop.
Near by Sierra Gordain México,
Colón only has 7 active artisans working there.
"It is very expensive to for us to go to other cities and selling our products, if we earn something at all goes directly to buy the gas for the truck or the bus ticket."
"I am not interested in living in Colón for ever, I like it here, my family lives here, but there's no work."
"Nobody buys wool products anymore, not even in here. "
"It's getting harder to have a living from this, a lot of work and low payment. "
To find a way their work can be sell in bigger cities and in a secure route without compromising the price and work of the artisan. Pushing the technique into new products and interesting designs that get younger generation exited to work with. Making alliances with KEY STAKEHOLDERS.
CONNECT ARTISANS WITH SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS
to secure a fair route of business, allowing them to have a steady production, while making a social impact by creating OUT OF THE BOX products, helping younger artisans to EXPLORE THEIR CREATIVITY by teaching them different design processes and creating a "new young" identity.
Indie socially conscious brands-Developing patterns and new color mixes for new seasonal pieces.
black sheep: ADAPTING a family tradition
*Project translated from Spanish.
Seikado was established in Kyoto in 1838 (Edo Period) as a pewterer and presently. It is the only pewter art craft speciality shop in Japan
Yamanka Genbei, the 7th owner, has devoted himself to making pewter arts as well as running exhibitions displaying a wide range of Japanese metal arts
Kyoto pewter crafts were originally developed and made available to only the upper classes, Seikado has been endeavoring to design equally in keeping with modern times as it is in maintaining respect for their traditional heritage.
the value of ritual and tradition
As part of Seikado's mission to make the craft available for a larger market, Mr. Yamanka has ran exhibitions around the world, and collaborated with foreign designers to create pieces with the traditional heritage of pewter arts mix to a non Japanese design vision.
Obon and Dia de los Muertos is an example of how similar Mexican an Japanese cultures are. For Japanese, Sake is as important as for Mexicans is Tequila, showing our roots, traditions and story.
The idea comes together by having Ikigai as a reference on how those drinks participate in every aspect of our lives. Using the Japanese technique to make rough and texture forms, that resembles Mexican shapes, to create a drinking set suitable for both cultures.
the Japanese secret for a happy life
The collaboration was centered in developing a drinking set that represents my particular interpretation on the complexity that is Japan, which covers itself into the simplicity of a balanced way of living. It's components symbolize the key aspects of Ikigai, with irregular shapes that balance each other allowing a different experience of drinking, depending on the intuition and preference of the user to hold it in which they feel more comfortable, making it a very personal ritual.
The unusual design mix with the traditional Japanese technique of Seikado, challenges the collaboration between the artisan and the designer, by pushing the material and technique into unusual shapes, into discovering new approaches for their respective disciplines. The set was meant to be organic and playful, just like life itself.
You can read more about this collaboration in SEIKADO official web page.
vida mia. salud! kanpai!