The ISHINOMAKI STOOL was specially designed at a series of furniture-making workshops intended for locals and primary school students, in collaboration with the US furniture company Herman Miller. Members from Ishinomaki Laboratory examined what was missing in temporary housing in the area, and found that both a step stool for accessing storage in high-up places and a chair for putting on shoes near the house entrance were needed. Instead, researchers saw that residents were often using plastic cases made for storing beer bottles to fulfill various purposes. Inspired by this spirit of ingenuity, the Ishinomaki Stool – a compact and light stool – was created.
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.