id inc's cardboard cubes populate japan GOOD DESIGN exhibition in tokyo

id inc's cardboard cubes populate japan GOOD DESIGN exhibition in tokyo


as part of an exhibition of disaster prevention design, id inc has created a showroom of purpose built cardboard boxes. the exhibition — located in the shibuya hikarie building in tokyo — was part of a collaboration between id and AXIS inc and featured a number of g-mark japan GOOD DESIGN award winning case studies on the theme of relief aid and disaster preparation.

id inc good designthe design was a collaboration between id and AXIS inc



organized under the broad concept of ‘sonaeru design’ (sonaeru is a japanese word meaning ‘be ready’ or ‘prepare’) id inc populated the space with a collection of identical cardboard boxes, used to display the g-mark winning concepts. despite the wide variety of objects and ideas on show, the uniformity of the cubes was intended to help unify and equalize the layout of the space, giving each design as much display space as the next. the cardboard boxes, which dominated every aspect of the showroom, were designed to fit perfectly the items necessary  for an individual to survive for 72 hours.

id inc good design
the exhibition featured a number of good design winning products



multi-functional and durable, the boxes were elsewhere employed as chairs, tables and makeshift workspaces — proving the material’s usefulness in dire situations. also showing at the exhibition was the ‘paper partition system’ by the voluntary architects network, led by architect shigeru ban. similarly based on cardboard creations, the ‘paper partition system’ uses cardboard tubes and waste canvas to create temporary shelters for those affected by disaster. at the end of the exhibition, id design gifted the cardboard boxes and a disaster survival kit to those that had donated to devastated areas, as well as using the boxes to ship the designs back to their creators.

id inc good design
the uniformity of the boxes equalizes the space, bringing a sense of harmony and simple utility

‘life armor neo’, a shelter for earthquakes and tsunamis
image © designboom

good-design-award-sonaeru-design-project-designboom-007‘safecast’, a radiation sensor network
image © designboom

id inc good design
the dimensions of the boxes are designed to perfectly store enough materials for a person to survive for 72 hours

id inc good design
craft paper labels fit into the theme, making information sheets look like packing tape

id inc's cardboard cubes populate japan GOOD DESIGN exhibition in tokyo
each design is given as much display space as the next

id inc's cardboard cubes populate japan GOOD DESIGN exhibition in tokyo
located in the shibuya hikarie building in tokyo

id inc's cardboard cubes populate japan GOOD DESIGN exhibition in tokyothe designs were organized under the broad concept of ‘sonaeru design’, meaning ‘be ready’ or ‘prepare’

id inc's cardboard cubes populate japan GOOD DESIGN exhibition in tokyo
also on display was the paper partition system by the voluntary architects network

id inc's cardboard cubes populate japan GOOD DESIGN exhibition in tokyo
the system uses cardboard tube and waste canvas to build shelter for those fleeing disaster

id inc's cardboard cubes populate japan GOOD DESIGN exhibition in tokyo
the two projects aimed to demonstrate the advantages and durability of cardboard

how to install the partition
image © designboom


project info:


client: japan institute of design promotion
designer: axis inc. (eiji yoshida) id inc. (seiji oguri, yohei oki)
constructor: hiroshi iguchi
photographs: norihito yamauchi
date: october 28 – november 3
place: shibuya hikarie 8/court, cube 1,2,3







the GOOD DESIGN award was founded in 1957 by the japanese ministry of international trade and industry and is hosted by the japan institute for design promotion. the ‘g mark’ emblem reflects comprehensive design values and principles that aim to enrich lives, industries and society.

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