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issue 18 | May 2021
‘Industrialized Craftsmanship’, Maruni’s motto refers to the outstanding technologies that enable mass production of craft furniture with stable quality. Maruni’s manufacturing is a product of the expert hands from various departments, where the wisdom of the various techniques blends perfectly with the knowledge acquired over the years. Among all, the ‘Jig’ department that facilitates Maruni’s product manufacturing by creating specialized ‘jigs’ deserves a special mention.
A ‘jig’ stands for a piece of equipment used to hold a tool or piece of wood firmly in position while you work on it. Derived from the English word ‘jig’, the word has now naturalized in Japanese and is used to describe a modular tool for machining. Maruni’s jig craftsmen manually manufacture and maintain the fixing jigs required for production. It is no exaggeration to say that high-precision and high-accuracy jigs improve productivity and are indispensable for the mass production of high-quality woodworking and furniture. They play an important role in the process of industrialization. Making a jig is a continuous process in itself, in that they need to be fine-tuned to further improve efficiency and finishing.
A craftsman states, “Two same machines may also behave a bit differently.” The trained eyes, sharp senses, diligence, and hard work of the craftsmen together act as a bridge between workmanship and industrialization at Maruni. That is why Maruni’s products are detailed and beautiful, while at the same time radiating the human warmth.
Hirosaki Museum of Contemporary Art (Hirosaki MOCA), designed by Atelier Tsuyoshi Tane Architects (ATTA), won the Grand Prix for French Foreign Architecture Overseas Award 2021 (AFEX Grand Prix) from among the 11 finalists. AFEX organizes the AFEX GRAND PRIX FOR FRENCH ARCHITECTURE in the frame of the Venice Architecture Biennale every two years throughout the world to reward an outstanding project undertaken by a French architect outside France. It is one of the prestigious architectural awards in France.
Hirosaki MOCA is housed in the renovated building of the Yoshinocho Brick Warehouse, a former Cider Factory built in the Meiji and Taisho eras (that together lasted from the year 1868 to 1926) and now a symbol of the modern industrial heritage of the Aomori Prefecture. The warehouse building was converted into the museum based on the concept of ‘preserving the memories’ and the pre-requisite of reusing the warehouse materials as much as possible to maintain its original appearance. The HIROSHIMA armchair naturally blends into the ancient materials and is also perfect for relaxing while reading.
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