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Brief Published: 6 Oct 2011

Sample by Sakai Design Associate

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Tokyo design group Sakai Design Associate has launched Sample Project, an initiative to create quality design products from materials that would otherwise go to waste. The collection – including home and gadget accessories – so far comprises two arms – one that uses the excess wood trimmed from forest trees, and another that uses leather from scrap cars.

In Japan, the phrase ‘mottainai’ – which translates to ‘that’s a waste’ – is used for campaigns to recycle or limit waste. The Sample Project is partly aiming to spread this ‘mottainai’ concept beyond Japan, and also to help save traditional businesses that are facing closure.

Sakai Design Associates try providing threatened factories and craftspeople with modern designs and cheap materials, which gives them room to make a fair profit. They’re presenting it as a way to resist the charge towards ever cheaper, faster production.

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