1 Field trip photos: kozo field, paper sheets drying in the sun, boiling fibers, fibers soaking

Mock-ups of the publication

Ideation session hosted with the artisans in Japan 

03. Craft Portait x Washi Futurism

The Washi Futurism collective is formed by design duos Cream on Chrome (Jonas Althaus and Martina Huynh) and Craft Portrait (Pauline Agustoni and Satomi Minoshima).

Building up on The Washi Exploratory, Washi Futurism is the second phase of the project.

In the summer of 2023, we spent two months in Misumi in Japan, to learn from and collaborate with papermakers So Kubota and Masaru Nishita. Their family businesses focus on the production of Sekishu Washi, a handmade paper renowned for its unrivaled strength, flexibility and warm texture.

At the junction between Western paper and textile, highly versatile and accessible, Sekishu Washi is a fascinating material to us. It has a strongly rooted history in the region yet represents numerous opportunities for innovative applications. Moreover, its production follows a sustainable process that respects both the local environment (the paper fibers (kozo) are grown locally, and the management of the kozo trees is done carefully) and the local inhabitants (the craft brings a variety of local inhabitants together). These elements inscribe the craft as a unique technique that we regard as having plenty of possibilities for the future.

As a team allying designers and artisans, we worked towards Washi Futurism / Japanese Paper: Craft and Local Material Culture, an augmented sample book aimed at an audience of creative professionals (designers, artists, architects). The bilingual publication (English and Japanese) combines original Sekishu Washi samples, artisans testimonies, articles about the historical backdrop of the craft, application examples and process tips and tricks to work with the paper. A digital layer including 360º videos of the workshops, paper information and process videos can be accessed with the use of a phone application.

Collaboration with Satomi Minoshima and studio Cream on Chrome

Collaboration with So Kubota and Masaru Nishita

2024 (planned) Exhibition at Gallery 3, Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

This project is supported by Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie and the Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Japan