The very first product created from the Ishinomaki Laboratory workshops was the ISHINOMAKI BENCH. Developed in collaboration between students from the Ishinomaki Technical High School and designers at Ishinomaki Laboratory for use at a temporary outdoor movie theatre, the benches have become popular items used in the community ever since. Designed to withstand the elements, the benches are ideal for the garden or veranda, as well as giving a rustic touch to interior spaces.
Keiji Ashizawa (b. 1973) lives and works in Tokyo, Japan. After graduating from Yokohama University School of Architecture in 1995, Ashizawa spent the first ten years of his career working as both an architect and steel fabricator. The unique skills and experience gained throughout these early years, including a valued understanding of metals, continue to influence his approach to design.
Keiji Ashizawa presents work of ‘honest’ design – simple yet refined, thoughtful and of a light manner – derived naturally through the process of attempting to maximise the potential of each material and its function. He excels in applying these ideas to projects of various scale, from furniture and lighting design to architecture and exhibition design.
His furniture and lighting have been exhibited internationally since 2001.
In 2011, Ashizawa was awarded a ‘Special Award’ by the Japan Institute of Design for his principal participation in the inception of Ishinomaki Laboratory – a DIY furniture workshop established in Ishinomaki city, Japan, after it was devastated by the tsunami triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake.