‘origin part IV: foster’ – wooden cases by BCXSYall images courtesy of BCXSY




‘origin’ is an on-going work by BCXSY in which the eindhoven-based duo of boaz cohen and sayaka yamamoto partner up with cultural organizations to explore traditional crafts from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines as a means of informing their design practice. the project began with ‘join’, a series of three space dividers which were developed in collaboration with mr. tanaka, a master of ‘tategu’–the traditional craft of japanese wood joinery (see designboom’s coverage of ‘origin part 1: join‘). ‘origin part II: balance‘ followed. the series of seven woven area rugs were produced with laikya negav weaving, an organization of bedouin artisans initiated by non-profit group SIDREH which focuses on improving the socioeconomic situation of bedouin women living in israel’s negav desert. the third exploration was carried out with meitheal mara, a charitable irish maritime cultural and educational centre whose main goal is to preserve the craftsmanship of traditional irish boating. the outcome was ‘origin part III: contrast‘, a family of furniture objects consisting of a side-table, stool, fruit bowl and serving tray made using different methods applied in the boat-building process.


the fourth and most recent chapter of this cultural research is ‘foster’. the grouping of products stem from BCXSY’s work with non-profit organization ibuki–a group of young master craftsmen from varying disciplines with the common goal of preserving japan’s traditional crafts through education and practice. together boaz and sayaka partnered with two wood craftsmen, kenta kazuhara and kozo sumitani, and one ceramisist, hiroshi nagai, to produce three distinct objects which challenged the skill set of each. the resulting pieces of the ‘foster’ collection include wooden cases, hand thrown ceramic pouring vessels, and three drinking cups and are being presented during milan design week 2013.

BCXSY: origin part IV fosterwooden cases




the set of five wooden cases are made from kitayama sugi–a cedar wood typical of kyoto. to highlight the prestige of the employed material, each container features a slice of the wood raw and unstyled, an hommage to the long tradition and exclusivity of the natural medium. the kyoto-style joinery used to construct the boxes is hidden within the connected parts so that they are not visible from the exterior. each one is treated with fuki-urushi, a semi-transparent lacquer which darkens the wood and highlights its natural grain. the unique asymmetric proportions of the set speak of a quality typical of traditional japanese craft. the cases can function as a storage place for precious objects and other small treasures, and all open in a way that is distinct from the other. 

BCXSY: origin part IV foster‘pouring vessels’




the ceramic works which make up the rest of the ‘foster’ collection are all hand thrown and experiment with the dripping and pouring of liquid clay, not only to inform the aesthetic, but function of the finished pieces. the three pouring vessels–a sauce bowl, salad bowl and carafe–are symmetrical in form, with two mirrored spouts on either side. light colored liquid clay is poured through one of the spouts before firing, the resulting pattern a permanent visual reference to their asymmetrical function; one side for pouring and one side for holding. in the case of the salad bowl, these lips can be used as handles as well as nooks in which to rest serving utensils. 

BCXSY: origin part IV foster‘drinking cups’




traditional ceramics of japan are decorated with random dripping patterns. in the case of the three ‘drinking cups’, liquid clay is poured over them when they are stacked, a contemporary take on this ancient technique, making each one unique. when used individually, they have their own defining surface, but when placed one on top of the other they are visually ‘complete’.


behind the scenes of producing the ‘foster’ collectionvideo courtesy of BCXSY