hisakazu shimizu showcases his continuous design method at axis gallery
 
hisakazu shimizu showcases his continuous design method at axis gallery
nov 13, 2015

hisakazu shimizu showcases his continuous design method at axis gallery

hisakazu shimizu showcases his continuous design method at axis gallery
image © michinori aoki

 

 

 

tokyo designers week: hisakazu shimizu of S&O design formulated the ‘continuous design‘ methodology in response to the advancements in digital product development technology. building on the observation of digital 3D models quickly being rendered into physical prototypes, and their growing importance and value within the creative process, shimizu imagines that in a very short amount of time, these ‘mock-ups’ created by designers will eventually automatically be manufactured in ‘small run’ factories, such as within one’s own studio.

 

observing the progressiveness of the digital age, shimizu has employed customized settings on the 3D CAD software application alias, manipulating standard geometric forms such as spheres or cylinders, to conceive new objects. since the 3D software handles the entire process as a single series — from idea-generation to completion — more time can be spent exploring various design possibilities, while the finished product can be realized in a smoother, more timely manner. this approach allows for a more seamless evolution of products, that still considers beauty and identity as key elements. unlike conventional 3D modelling, ‘continuous design’ changes the shape of only one primitive, so the problem of surfaces not being connected is eliminated, resulting in data it is extremely accurate, with no material waste.

hisakazu shimizu continuous design axis gallery tokyo designboom
‘instax’ camera for fujifilm 
image © michinori aoki

 

 

 

 

wanting to test his methodology in real world situations, shimizu experimented with seven companies: fujifilm, kokuyo, kotobuki, noritake, shiseido, tendo and zojirushi, working over a period of a year, with their own in-house designers, to conceive new products using the ‘continuous design’ process. the results of these collaborations are objects that are obviously diverse in function and aesthetic appearance. during the course of the project, AXIS magazine presented the results of the seven partnerships, highlighting the design process for each, by feature a special series in every one of its issues since november 2014.

 

to mark the year since the commencement of the editorial series, and to celebrate the products born out of the experiment, S&O design, together with AXIS gallery (AXIS magazine’s own curated museum space) brought forth a special exhibition giving the public the opportunity to see the resulting prototypes of each cooperation which had only previously been seen in print. shown within a setting conceived by makoto yamaguchi, ‘lovable continuous design’ looked at how hisakau shimizu employs the ‘continuous design’ process into his work, and how simple shapes in alias can be reworked and influenced to create numerically complex forms.

hisakazu-shimizu-instax
fujifilm ‘instax’ camera
image © michinori aoki

 

 

 

shimizu’s design for the fujifilm ‘instax’ camera was born out of the desire to give rise to a new picture taking culture, and redefine the notion of using instant cameras. influenced by the global popularity of instax as a fashion item among young people, shimizu incorporated studs, a staple in the world of fashion, into its form. while at first glance these protrusions make one reluctant to pick it up, the studs provide a good grip, no matter where you grasp it, acting like a cushion for the camera body, while also doubling as usable parts, like a shutter button or a hook to attach a strap — a fashionable fusion of form and function.

hisakazu shimizu design exhibition axis gallery tokyo designboom
‘white rose natural’ perfume bottle for shiseido 
image © michinori aoki

 

 

 

established in 1916, next year marks the 100th anniversary of shiseido’s design division. to celebrate, a new bottle for the japanese cosmetics brand’s long-time selling ‘white rose natural’ perfume was requested. the focus of shimizu’s design are thorns, rather than the petals of the flower after which the fragrance is named. by selecting soft, translucent thorns of a young rose as a motif, the fresh, enchanting visual of the floral is kept, while an unexpected character is infused with the stem through the middle. shiseido decided to redevelop the perfume to go with shimizu’s design. from the skilled hands of shiseido’s chief perfumer tatsushi horita came a scent that evokes the image of the thorn.

hisakazu shimizu design exhibition axis gallery tokyo designboom
the perfume bottle is characterized by soft, translucent thorns
image © michinori aoki

hisakazu shimizu design exhibition axis gallery tokyo designboom
scissors for kokuyo
image © michinori aoki

 

 

 

shimizu takes the image of scissors, an everyday tool, in a whole new direction for kokuyo. looking at the key feature of the japanese brand’s scissors, the design seeks to portray a fresh image reflecting the creation that emerges from cutting. shimizu fashioned the scissors’ distinctive shape of long, slim blades, stretching upwards to the handle into a flower bud. the form of the design naturally expresses the vivid, lustrous moment when a new flower emerges from inside the bud.

hisakazu shimizu design exhibition axis gallery tokyo designboom
‘mahobin’ vacuum flask for zojirushi
image © michinori aoki

 

 

 

vacuum flasks by zojirushi are known worldwide for their high standard of quality. the design shimizu has conceived for the brand, seeks to offer new utility by employing a shape that is already ‘slanted’ or ‘tipped’ in its position, reducing strain on one’s wrist when pouring; and forming it as one piece without the requirement of a handle. the result is the appearance of an abstract sculpture. after completing the model (gold or silver), a plan was hatched to create a transparent version to show off its key feature, the glass bottle inside.

hisakazu shimizu design exhibition axis gallery tokyo designboom
‘drinking fountain’ for kotobuki
image © michinori aoki

 

 

 

the design of a drinking fountain to be installed in a park, brings an element of ‘play’ to mind. shimizu created his spiraling form version for kotobuki from a single sphere. the volume is tapered downward in a way that evokes the image of giant flower petals, that allow water to flow freely down three channels. the concept of the fountain is based on the center of communication in olden times, namely the local water spring where residents would gather to chat while doing laundry or washing vegetables.

hisakazu shimizu design exhibition axis gallery tokyo designboom
‘racket chair’ for tendo
image © michinori aoki

 

 

in the 1960s, tendo developed a new woodworking technique called ‘koma-ire molding’, which was the first of its kind in japan. the company was also the first to apply this method in the construction of tennis rackets. drawing on tendo’s expertise in this area, shimizu designed a chair employing this process, that features continuously joined lines. the seating object is structured with the right and left ring-like side parts connected at two points behind the backrest, while koma-ire molding is used in the four sections where the frame extends backwards from the left and right rings. because the rounded frame continues through the legs, it does not cause any damage to flooring, and is safer in the case that someone bumps into it. the finished model, realized thanks to the expert skills of tendo ’s craftsmen, cleared hurdles related to durability and cost, paving the way to commercialization. a version is set to be released on the market in spring of 2016.

hisakazu shimizu design exhibition axis gallery tokyo designboom
‘compote’ tableware for noritake
image © michinori aoki

 

 

 

in his collaboration for noritake, shimizu developed a new concept for a compote dish, along with a cup and saucer set. while the tableware retains a classic look with a profile shape that sits between round and square, the smoothly curved surfaces appear differently according to the angle in which one is observing them. the pattern of blue circles on white porcelain, interspersed with pink splashes — representing the clay holding the broken pieces together — was achieved using highly advanced transfer printing techniques. the pop image combined with the authentic gold edging gives the whole piece a timeless, sophisticated character.

hisakazu shimizu design exhibition axis gallery tokyo designboom
the ‘lovable continuous design’ exhibition at AXIS gallery during tokyo design week 2015
image © michinori aoki

 

 

 

shimizu on how ‘continuous design’ is different from the conventional creative process using 3D software:
in the conventional design process, a two-dimensional sketch or diagram is produced first, and then that image is recreated with 3D software. the use of 3D software then is basically for inputting the design. with continuous design, on the other hand, the process starts with making an onscreen 3D sketch using the software program alias. adjustments and refinements are continuously made to the shape of the three-dimensional object until the design is complete. the 3D software itself becomes a design tool. for that reason, alias is very customized, enabling more intuitive operation to facilitate rather than inhabit free thought.

hisakazu shimizu continuous design axis gallery tokyo designboom
the exhibition display was designed by makoto yamaguchi
image © michinori aoki
hisakazu shimizu continuous design axis gallery tokyo designboom
mirrored rectangular prisms elevate hisakazu shimizu’s designs
image © michinori aoki

hisakazu shimizu continuous design axis gallery tokyo designboom
the twisting form of ‘drinking fountain’ on display
image © michinori aoki

hisakazu shimizu design exhibition axis gallery tokyo designboom
hisakazu shimizu’s studded ‘instax’ camera for fujifilm is a fashionable fusion of form and function
image © michinori aoki

hisakazu shimizu design exhibition axis gallery tokyo designboom
the model of ‘racket chair’ was realized by tendo’s craftsmen, and cleared hurdles related to durability and cost
image © michinori aoki

axis magazine hisakazu shimizu designboom
eizo okada and hisakazu shimizu of S&O design
image © designboom
axis magazine hisakazu shimizu designboom
issues of AXIS magazine since november 2014 that have each featured the ‘lovable continous design’ project
image © designboom

 

click through the gallery below to see more details of the products resulting from hisakazu shimizu’s collaborations with each company, and the editorial images featured of each issue of AXIS magazine since november 2014:

 

Save

Save

  • beautiful forms- really

    Glenn Johnson

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy

PRODUCT LIBRARY

a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

design news

×
keep up with our daily and weekly stories
505,905 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample
designboom magazine