BUILD Q4 issue

18 Build Q4 2018 n a world where mass-production furniture is dominant, Cas- sette’s simple yet distinctive approach allows full and exacting customisation. Initially, they begin by selecting wood most suit- ed to the piece and use construction methods that will ensure long-lasting durability, be it a single child’s stool or a full-room installation. Their partnership with local metal, leather and glass specialists allows us to fully accommodate any design. Also, they offer a number ready-to-order signature pieces. Shuichi begins by informing us of the approach Cassette takes when working alongside a new client to ensure that they receive the best possible outcome, as well as touching on what sets them apart from their competitors within the industry. “First, we try to understand what the client is expecting through exploring their words and values. Also, we position our experience and techniques as just a means to make the creation together using client input. This ap- proach allows us to discover new approaches and designs for a mutually satisfactory result. “We expect our designs to be not only practical but also to serve as an expression of the personality of the person who uses them. We create our products freely by our own interpretation, cherishing our own unique sensibilities and aesthetics but while also respecting tradition. While our products are solid pieces of furniture based on exacting craftsmanship, Cassette designs feature a somewhat playful spirit, with an urban and modern sense combined with the warmth of woodcraft. However, since the products which we are making serve as a life tool, functionality, practicality and comfort remain as core considerations. We recognise this balance to be the most important factor in our creations.” Following their recent success in BUILD’s 2018 Residential Top 50 where they were selected as the Most Respected in Japanese Furniture and Home Products, Shuichi highlights how Cassette are able to stand out in such a competitive industry, noting on the challenges they have overcome to achieve exceptional results. “At Cassette, we define success not in a way that reflects large scale or high sales, but whether a piece truly reaches the heart of the customer. One memorable example, is a chair made specially for a single customer. There was no particularly innovative design or function to it, it was just a simple chair. However, by making a chair that fit the customer’s body per- fectly, we were able to relieve the back pain which they had long suffered from. We as a creator sometimes tend to rely too much on technology or be self-oriented, but through the experience of this chair, we were able to see that technology and designs themselves are only part of the effort - what we really need to offer customers is ‘invisible value’. “The interior industry in Japan is steady and continues to grow, however it favours furniture manufacturers who mass produce low-end product. How- One-of-a-Kind Creations Cassette is known for creating one-of-a-kind pieces in which we use traditional wood-working techniques that combine style and strength. Taking time to provide us with an overview of the dynamic firm is Founder/Creator, Shuichi Boku who reveals more about their innovative creations. I ever, we are also seeing an increase in a younger generation who have a shared value to use products for the long term, and who carry a passion for finding one-of-kind items. Such young consumers have relatively high expectations, so it is necessary for manufacturers and craftsmen, such as ourselves, who employ traditional crafts to consider not only using quality materials and high technology, but also offering good design at a reasonable price.” The world is seeing innovation and technology progress at a terrific speed, which is constantly bringing impact to human lives. Conversely, the craftsman must maintain a consistent relationship with simplicity and precision, unchanged from long ago. It requires an elegance which cannot be measured with technology. This allows a different sort of inspiration, and thus innovation which stimulate emotions and sensibilities while giving a sensitivity of time. Looking ahead to what the future holds, Shuichi signs off by revealing how the team at Cassette are now looking to use this an approach on several projects with outside partners. “Moving forward, we would like to continue to share our design philoso- phy and approach with greater reach, ideally in an overseas international exhibition. We are now developing our designs in several cities in North America and Northern Europe. We hope to export more Cassette items around the world, but we also insist on maintaining our approach of manu- facturing in limited quantities, with care and by hand. Although we are now mainly producing designs for everyday use, we would like our aesthetic sense and technology to be used in homes, commercial enterprises and construction projects worldwide.” Contact: Shuichi Boku Address: 5-7-3 Kanayama, Naka-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Pref. 460-0022, Japan Telephone: +81-52-825-5160 Web Address: www.en-cassette573.com

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