Yokohama, Japan - For almost three years, the borders to Japan have been closed to the outside world, only just reopening recently to tourists hungry to explore this always fascinating country. Part of the allure is a culture in balance, forever evolving and changing, yet deeply and inextricably intertwined with its own unique heritage.
One of the clearest manifestations of this delicate dance is through Japanese design and craftsmanship which artfully marry this balance in concrete, beautiful forms. In this spirit, INFINITI launched "The Makers," video series, to bring the often-elusive subjects of modern Japanese artistry and design into focus through an immersive, visual exploration. And as a brand with deep roots in Japan that also strives to push design boundaries, Modern Japanese Luxury is a subject close to INFINITI hearts.
The artisans of Japan are the fitting stars of "The Makers" series who share their personal design philosophy and source of inspiration alongside a visual feast of their quintessential works. The first season showcases six celebrated craftspeople who push their artisanry into a new era while honoring the past of their trade, while the second season showcases five accomplished Japanese architects who share insights into the design philosophies they apply when creating a thoroughly modern Japanese aesthetic.
The debut season of "The Makers" is anchored in Kyoto, a city that provides a perfect backdrop with its deep history under transformation. Underlying this change is an incredibly talented community of craftspeople who connect tradition with modernity, in their quest for continual progress. Eriko Horiki,for example, innovates in washi paper design, reimagining the centuries old craft using technologies from other industries to make something that retains its beauty for years to come.
Season 2 of "The Makers" journeys deeper into modern Japanese luxury, this time through the lens of architecture and design via conversations with five highly credentialed Japanese architects. Each demonstrates how Japanese design principles and philosophies persist quite tangibly and consistently - irrespective of medium or maker – be it buildings and structures or Luxury cars.
Many of these shared design tenets and principles between the artisans and architects of Season 1 & 2 that work to further illuminate audiences about Japanese specific design ideals, including the following:
- Mitate, the principle of selecting materials, which in Japanese design is a primary source of inspiration. And relatedly, shitate which is the process of bringing out the best of those materials. In the last episode of Season 2, for example, architect Yuri Naruse discusses her careful selection of hinoki wood for a new hotel in the area of Nakatsugawa, reimagined in special flooring that allows visitors to interact and experience hinoki in a new way.
- Pritzker Architecture Prize-award winner Ryue Nishizawa dissects the concept of "ma" or the space between things and how it promotes harmony between objects and humans as well as nature. This is apparent in many of Nishizawa's works including the architectural gem, the Senju Museum in Karuizawa.
Recently awarded first place in the "Digital + Online" category in the 2022 Campaign Brief Asia Awards, "The Makers" has made its own mark for creativity within the marketing industry and well beyond. While the series filled a travel lust guide during the pandemic, it continues to be an accessible way to get deep into the subject to Modern Japanese Luxury, spinning abstract concepts into a beautifully composed visual reality. Take a trip into this place all its own and meet the people who help to create it by watching the full series here:
The Makers Series - Season 1:
Episode 1: Featuring Takahiro Yagi, sixth generation master tea caddy maker
Episode 2: Featuring Kanaami Tsuji, master metal knitting craftsman
Episode 3: Featuring Shuji Nakagawa, master woodworker
Episode 4: Featuring Eriko Horiki, master washi paper designer
Episode 5: Featuring Matsubayashi Hosai, 16th generation ceramic artist
Episode 6: Featuring Tatsuyuki Kosuga, 5th generation bamboo craft company owner
Finale: The Makers Roundtable - A Conversation Between Master Japanese Craftspeople and INFINITI Senior Design Director Taisuke Nakamura
The Makers Series - Season 2:
Episode 1: Featuring architect Ryue Nishizawa and the design philosophy "ma"
Episode 2: Featuring Pritzker winning architect Shigeru Ban and his definition of luxury
Episode 3: Featuring architect Junya Ishigami and the exploration of harmony
Episode 4: Featuring architect Yuko Nagayama and nature as inspiration
Episode 5: Featuring architect Yuri Naruse and a sense of place
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INFINITI Motor Company is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan with operations around the world including regional offices based in the Americas, China and INFINITI International Markets based in Dubai. The INFINITI brand of premium automobiles are assembled in manufacturing facilities in Japan, North America and China. INFINITI design studios are located in Atsugi-Shi near Yokohama, London, San Diego and Beijing.
More information about INFINITI and its industry-leading technologies can be found at www.INFINITI.com. You can also follow INFINITI on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and see all our latest videos on YouTube.
Contacts - INFINITI Communications
Stephen (Steve) Coughlan
Senior Manager, Global Communications