NOSIGNER'S Eisuke Tachikawa chats about innovative design and his projects in Japan that are helping to heal the nation...
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Eisuke Tachikawa spoke with me from his lovely concrete and glass design studio in Yokohama. As the Japanese wunderkind of contemporary design, we had a lot of ground to cover, as does the designer himself, literally, as he flies around the country in his various roles that all coalesce to promote ethical, long-lasting design that honours tradition while bringing time-tested ideas into the zeitgeist.
Tachikawa san is President and Design Strategist for NOSIGNER (as in ‘no designer’) and Concept Director for the dynamic Cool Japan Promotion Council, a body of VIPS, monks, athletes, musicians and design gurus who promote what’s great about the country’s design output, and nut out ways to keep design relevant and socially responsive.
Eisuke showed me his beautiful designs for “warew” cosmetic packaging that won the Gold Pentaward award 2014. The simple, fine white cylinders channel a fashionable chic while retaining the organic core of traditional design.
He is also working on a furniture range based on the “Kinowa” or “wood Renaissance” movement. This range is part of the re-branding the multi-disciplinary NOSIGNER was commissioned to create by the Bunshodo company (the paper manufacturers whose headquarters are tucked in behind the Apple store in Ginza, Tokyo). Bunshodo is celebrating its 100th anniversary and the range is designed to not only present a contemporary take on older pieces, but to explore the notion of “kanbatsu” or thinning of the forests to allow penetration of light. The culled trees are the ones used in Tachikawa’s designs. He likes to use the shapes as found — rolled trunks as stools, long logs as beams, as the premise of the brand is using fewer processes to create.
In a more direct use of lost materials, Tachikawa is engaged in designing offices using as building materials detritus from the 2011 tsunami. This is part of a significant body work of what Eisuke calls his social activist architecture. Eisuke is also designing the factory space for Mozilla, the creators of FireFox, (an open source web browser) and Thunderbird, (also an open source software for mail management).
In October this year, Tachikawa was invited to represent his country at the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators.