Issey Miyake Store in a 132-year-old Machiya
Naoto Fukasawa converted an old Kyoto townhouse, machiya, into an Issey Miyake store. Keeping the original structure intact, with its exposed timber, the facade and interior have a cohesive tone of charcoal grey to contrast the iconic designer's colorful collection.
Published March 24th 2018 on the former blog
Naoto Fukasawa to me is like the Dieter Rams to many designers. He is behind many of the internationally beloved MUJI products and author of Super Normal: Sensations of the Ordinary.
Him and Kenya Hara both spend a lot of time thinking about how they could scale their success to Japanese craftsmanship which is why it comes to no surprise that he was named director of the of the Japanese Folk Crafts Museum (Mingeikan) in Tokyo in 2012. One of his recent exhibits “Between craft and design” puts crafts (Kogei) and contemporary design side by side to showcase the close relationship between the two. All of this is very close to my heart since this blog is supposed to help create more awareness for the crafts, how timeless they are and how they fit into our modern lives.
Most recently he designed this beautiful store for Issey Miyake (designer of Steve Jobs turtleneck) in Kyoto. Instead of building something new they chose to remodel this beautiful 132-year-old townhouse (machiya). Machiya were once quite common in Kyoto but have become scarce due to westernization as well as renovation costs being too high for many home owners.
Fukasawa leaves the facade of the building completely intact but opens up the interior and exposing it’s timber structure. His inspiration for the space was “sumi” the name of a traditional Japanese shade of charcoal grey. The color can be seen from the facade throughout the interior and does a wonderful job at elevating Issey Miyake‘s colorful collection.
In the back of the house you will find a “Kura” that serves as a gallery space in this case displaying the third series of a collaboration with famed graphic designer Ikko Tanaka. “Kura” are commonly durable buildings built from timber, stone or clay that were traditionally used to safely store valuable commodities.
The store is located in downtown Kyoto (Google Map) and open daily from 11am to 8pm.
STORIES BEHIND THE PIECES
Kiyoko Matsuoka, 4th-generation shibori master
Shibori, meaning “to wring, squeeze or press” is the process of shaping cloth before dyeing to create various designs on the textile. Rather than using the cloth as a two dimensional surface, the Shibori textile has a three dimensional element, given that each technique requires years of experience to master.
Hiromichi Nakade, Maker of Oryoki Bowls
Meet Hiromichi Nakade and Kazuya Fujimoto, the makers of the Oryoki and Kodaiwan bowls. A master craftsman sits with his former apprentice to speak about their hope for the declining crafts industry in Japan, as well as the appeal of craftsmanship.