• DATA



    TOHOKU Lab


    Takumi Ota
    ※Except experimental and under construction photos.

Self-Driven Research

Like Seeing a Face in a Stain on the Ceiling

The newly completed satellite lab in Sendai, apart from the Tokyo studio, is a space dedicated for creating and thinking to encounter the unknown, in preference to meetings and administrative use.

Just like our childhood memories of seeing faces and clouds in the patterns and stains in the wood grain of the ceiling, this space was designed to spark the imagination of each individual. In contrast to a space for a pre-determined purpose often required for a typical office, the space is filled with opportunities to invite something outside the purpose of the objects in the space, and to break away from the pre-determined, harmonized thinking that people tend to have.

With that hypothesis in mind, objects are arranged in the space like stains appear on the ceiling. Each seemingly bare object has in fact a purpose as a table, shelf, or chair—yet arranged as if to exist ambiguously somewhere between mere materials on one hand, and objects with a purpose on the other hand, if the human intervention in the materials are minimized. The confrontation with such unstable existence also evokes imagination, just like the ceiling that stirs up our imagination.

Things may look different today and tomorrow, and of course there is no absolute answer—in fact, the space is meant to evoke and affirm such phenomena.

Pursuing a logical goal may take away people's creativity at times. The role of design should be to bring out human creativity as much as it is to provide efficiency and ease of use to the user.

The essence of this lab, where uncontrollable time wavers in the coexistence of pre-determined goals and unknowns around them, is perhaps analogous to the life in Tohoku-region where the basis of life is to coexist with uncontrollable nature.

The goal of this space is to generate future-enriching hypotheses by sharing “time to ponder” with our clients and other collaborators of the projects, not to mention those from independent research projects.