• why:
    To connect disappearing Japanese traditional crafts to and for the future. 

  • -80%

    Japan takes pride in producing crafts of Japanese masterpieces that are created by traditional craftsmen. The sales of their traditional industries has declined by 80% in the last 40 years. The ageing of craftsmen is a social issue, where the most skilled craftsmen are now said to be about 80 years old. This is why training for the next generation craftworkers is in demand. Japanese traditional crafts are in a crisis situation, where it is said to disappear in 10 years if we do not act towards the future now.


  • how:
    We created a market of traditional industries for our most delicate customers: infants.

  • We began by supporting from the start up of the establishment for social entrepreneurs of traditional craft brand "aeru", a traditional brand for infants between 0 to 6 years old. We directed the overall branding and also designed the products. Our audience was no other than our future customers of such an early stage, in order for them to become more accustomed to these traditions, by delivering this from early childhood. We designed the logo mark that expands outside the Hinomaru (emblem in the Japanese flag) indicating a traditional Japan. The lattice circular pattern, which is said to be a "Shippou" (the seven treasures), is designed as a variable logo, overlapping at various angles. This was to express "harmony", connecting Japanese traditions to modern lifestyles.
    In addition, we carried out almost all of the product and store designs, collaborating to develop numerous products for children's well being and happiness, through traditional industries. By producing fees from brands royalty-compensations, we were able to conduct direction of the entire brand, which is usually difficult for social startups.​​​​​​​


  • By designing a two-step curve inside the vessel, the child's hand cannot slide under the vessel to prevent spilling any meals. The inner curve doubles as a function of stacking, where it can be stacked with containers from other production areas. This was designed to be able to collect dishes of various traditional crafted of different production areas of Japan.


  • Yamanaka Lacquer ware  山中漆器

  • Tsugaru Pottery  津軽焼

  • Tobe Pottery  砥部焼

  • Otani Pottery  大谷燒

  • We designed a cup with a firm finger grip to prevent from‮ ‬dropping‭. ‬A‮ ‬handle was purposely not attached, so the‮ ‬children would ‬voluntarily hold the cup firmly with both hands‭. ‬It can also be used as a small cup for one serving‭. ‬It is simple, suitable for stacking‭.‬​​​​​​​


  • Koishihara Pottery  小石原焼

  • Tsugaru Lacquer ware  津軽塗

  • Ryukyu Glass ware  琉球ガラス

  • Easy scoop spoon
    We designed a spoon with a triangular handle, where children can firmly hold the spoon, built with a slight angle to the plate to scoop easily.


  • The first soup bowl
    The first bowl made of Echizen lacquerware‭. We persued a design that could be used for a lifetime as a children's soup container‭, ‬and also as a cup for beverages such as tea and coffee‭.‬

    越前漆器でつくられた、はじめてのお椀。子供の頃はスープ用として、大人になったらお茶やコーヒーなどの 飲料のカップとして一生使ってもらえるサイズを追求しました。

  • Safety scissors
    We made scissors made of hard wood, which is safe to be even used by a child. Even if you choose to cut paper, it can easily be done.


  • We collaborated with a traditional brand called "aeru", whose products are especially made for 0-6 year old children. We designed the packaging for a gift set of clothes that could be sent as a present for a newborn baby. A sweater, a towel, and a pair of socks dyed with "Hon-aizome" (a Japanese traditional indigo blue color) is placed inside all neatly wrapped as if they were beautiful sweets.


  • Tokushima Indigo dye  徳島藍染

  • We used a natural organic cotton fabric to complement the purity of the child. The touch is soft and perfect for a child's delicate skin. With its simple design, it can be used easily for any outfit.


  • We designed a futon to warm the child's body, with an opening at the neck to not cool down the body. It is made carefully one by one with the hands of Kyoto craftsmen.


  • Aeru meguro shop​​​​​​​
    We designed the shop space of "aeru meguro", the first ever operated store for "aeru". It is a small store space of 53.26 square meters, designed around a large movable shelf that can respond flexibly to changes throughout the seasons and any new circumstances. Eight-staged shelves with different heights move like a fan turning at one point, and as a matter of course, can become a desk or a bench, changing according to the situation. This is a space full of Japanese craftsmanship works, centered on shelves that enable flexible space utilization.​​​​​​​

    aeru」にとって初の直営店「aeru meguro」の空間を設計しました。「aeru meguro」は広いとはいえない53.26平米の店舗空間ですが、季節の移ろいや状況の変化に臨機応変に対応できるように、巨大な可動式の棚を中心に設計されています。高さの異なる八段の棚は一点を中心に扇のように可動し、商品の展示はもちろんのこと、時にはデスクやベンチとしても、状況に合わせて変形します。フレキシブルな空間活用を可能にする棚を中心に、日本のクラフトマンシップが詰まった空間が完成しました。

  • now:​​​​​​​
    Currently one of the most well-known social enterprises in Japan, aiding as a case for traditional industries.
  • ​​​​​​​

    Female president Rika Yajima started this company as a student entrepreneur with us, where we were responsible running side by side for the total design direction. In the seven years since its foundation, we received business awards such as APEC BEST AWARD as a social enterprise representative of Asia, including many design awards such as Good Design Award. It has been widely recognized as one of the most famous cases for traditional industrial social businesses in Japan, and continues to create new markets for children with traditional industries.

    女性社長として学生起業から始まった矢島里佳とトータルなデザインディレクションを担うNOSIGNERが並走しながら、aeruは徐々に大きくなっていきました。創業7年の間にアジアを代表とする社会企業としてAPEC BEST AWARDを始めとするビジネス賞の受賞や、グッドデザイン賞始めとするデザイン賞を数多く受賞しました。日本での伝統産業のソーシャルビジネスにとって最も有名なケースの一つとして広く認識され、今も伝統産業に子どもたちに向けた新しい市場を生み出し続けています。

  • what:

    Social design for evolution.

  • Art Direction
    NOSIGNER (Eisuke Tachikawa)
    Graphic Design
    NOSIGNER (Eisuke Tachikawa, Kaori Hasegawa)
    Space Design
    NOSIGNER (Eisuke Tachikawa, Kunihiko Sato)

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  • Thank you for watching!