Kamiyama Shizq Project (Wooden Tableware) by Kiyoharu Hirose
2018 - 2019, Golden A' Social Design Award Winner
Japanese cedar used to be the main building material in Japan. Many cedars were planted after World War II due to a national policy. However, their market value dropped when cheap imported trees arrived in Japan. When plantations are left unmanaged, the evergreen cedars block the sunlight with their thick foliage. Abundant local vegetation has been lost, ultimately leading to hard ground with little water-holding ability. Thus, the volume of river has decreased in Kamiyama. We must use cedars.
How Can Design Help? A designer who moved from the large city of Osaka to rural Kamiyama started the SHIZQ (“droplet”) project in 2013. Initially, woodworking professionals had only negative things to say about cedar. “Consumers hate the two tone colors of growth rings.” “Dishes and Cups cannot be made from soft cedar.” But the team SHIZQ did not give up. With breakthrough ideas and innovative creative design we found new value in cedar.We found craftspeople to work with us and make SHIZQ happen.
Design Challenges
The project challenged design and traditional crafts collaboration to create new value of local resources. But what they are making of materials was very difficult to process. Even with traditional crafting techniques. Craftsmen started to develop cutting blades exclusively for cedars and succeeded in doing so. Next, painting problems came up. The products they made did not match any wood coatings. Therefore, They had to develop a new paint. As a result, we succeeded in developing paint containing ceramic. In this way, the world's first product was born.
Production Technology
The Myth of Kamiyama A goddess is said to have descended upon Awa-no-kuni (today’s Tokushima) and ruled the Kamiyama area. SHIZQ products are handmade from cedars grown in the mountainous forests of Kamiyama which means “mountains of the gods. Handmade, One by One Our experienced craftsman developed specialized lathe blades for SHIZQ products,leveraging 50 years of experience to successfully work with cedar. However, he is the only one in Tokushima who could work.
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