Collaborating with international makers to share the essence of our craft,
born out of our own local experience in Ishinomaki, Japan
The Made in Local initiative started as a simple desire to somehow bring Ishinomaki Lab’s designs and story to a local context, and has since grown to encompass a more thorough relationship with people (local makers and market), place (locally-available materials), and product.
Made in Local projects are currently located in London, Manila, Berlin, Detroit, Busan (South Korea), and Singapore. Additionally, inspired by Made in Local, Ishinomaki Lab is also working on domestic collaborations in Japan.
Ishinomaki Lab aims to further develop Made in Local projects with the hope that more communities can be invigorated by good design.
Introduced by a partner at the Japan Foundation, Manila, photographer Jar Concengco and his wife Kay Concengco were touched by Ishinomaki Laboratory’s story and the designs that embodied it. The couple launched Lamana initially intending on only importing the products for retail but were inspired to take on the challenge of Made in Local themselves. Opening a small workshop and utilizing much of the same machinery and tools used in Ishinomaki, Lamana is now producing Ishinomaki Laboratory designs with different types of wood species such as Southeast Asian teak and European larch.
“Our appreciation for Ishinomaki Lab products led us to initiate talks of bringing them to the Philippines. The sheer minimalism of the pieces drew us in from the first day. Once we got to feel them, see them in person and try them, we knew right away they were well-designed.
The brand works with distinguished designers from all over the world. The simplified and the uncluttered spaces that the Japanese are known for are becoming popular here in the Philippines. Through Made in Local, we are offering the market a Japanese designer brand at a good price point as they are already made right here in our country.”
From Ishinomaki Laboratory founder Keiji Ashizawa and SCP founder Sheridan Coakley’s chance 2013 meeting at Maison et Objet, a partnership that helped boost Ishinomaki Laboratory’s international profile was born. A manufacturer and retailer of modern furniture, SCP sold Ishinomaki Laboratory products to customers in the United Kingdom, and as demand for the products rose, so did serious considerations for local production. Since 2017, SCP has made its iterations of Ishinomaki Laboratory products at its factory in Norfolk, choosing to produce them with the same Western red cedar used in Ishinomaki.
HLZFR. GmbH are architects, engineers, and professionally-trained carpenters and joiners. Discussions began in early 2018 when HLZFR. contacted TORAFU ARCHITECTS to discuss potential production of the AA STOOL frame in Berlin for the European market. In addition to the AA STOOL, HLZFR. is also exploring the development of other Ishinomaki Laboratory products.
To suit local needs, HLZFR. uses local varieties of spruce and Douglas fir. The collaboration is uniquely positioned to have a positive social impact in potentially training local community members.
In this next chapter of our relationship with Detroit, Ishinomaki Laboratory is excited to announce a Made in Local partnership with the Brightmoor Maker Space. Since 2017, Ishinomaki Laboratory has been engaging with students and faculty from the University of Michigan as a part of the Ishinomaki-Detroit Collaborative, a transnational alliance of community-based ventures and non-profits in Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture and Detroit, Michigan. As our Detroit-based counterpart, the Brightmoor Maker Space became a close partner in an annual exchange of technical know-how, experiences, and cultures.
A bit different from our other Made in Local partnerships, Ishinomaki Laboratory will not be collecting any design or brand licensing fees from the Brightmoor Maker Space; rather, our focus will be on supporting the training of a new generation of woodworkers as they learn production and business skills through the manufacturing and promotion of our designs. Products will initially be made with pine wood and made available for sale in the Detroit Metropolitan Area.
Brightmoor Maker Space
Connecting Ishinomaki with Busan, South Korea, we are excited to collaborate with Tabletimes in launching their new furniture brand TAEZBOX. The brand seeks to present furniture that improves one’s everyday lifestyle while emphasizing responsible use of wood. In an effort to be sustainable and efficient, a team of skilled craftsmen use small-batch production methods to produce not only our Made in Local products, but original designs as well. Tabletimes also specializes in providing products for rental and event purposes. The simplicity and versatility of our furniture lend to their usability in a variety of situations, and we hope that the Korean community will enjoy using our products. Products are currently made using Western red cedar.
KERNEL Furniture is a new furniture and lifestyle brand based in Singapore that aims to put good design in every home. As part of our Made in Local collaboration, the brand will be utilizing locally-available woods such as pine and the indigenous nyatoh to produce our products in Singapore for the local market. Select products will also be imported from our Ishinomaki-based workshop in Japan.
“Ishinomaki Laboratory by Karimoku”
Inspired by the Made in Local initiative, this new brand between Karimoku and Ishinomaki Laboratory seeks to pay tribute to each other’s origins and unique character while sparking further mutual innovation. As Japan’s largest maker of wooden furniture, Karimoku lends advanced manufacturing techniques and an ability to responsibility source a wide variety of domestic wood species for a reimagining of classic designs from Ishinomaki Laboratory.
Ishinomaki Laboratory by Karimoku