• Report
Hidakuma Participated in IFFT/Interior Lifestyle Living 2019

Hidakuma joined a three-day Expo of IFFT/Interior Lifestyle Living, one of the largest of its kind in Japan between November 20-23, 2019 held at Tokyo Big Sight. The event had more than 5,000 people visiting each day, in the total of 16,000 people in three days. Hidakuma had a wonderful opportunity to have many visitors to our booth.

The theme for Hidakuma display was Ryubeiten (㎥), or cubic meters. We wanted to show the wood material in different states of each process, and how trees in forest are treated and processed before customers see it as a product. We picked materials in a volume of a “Ryubei or cubic meter” the most commonly used unit in forestry industry. The people visiting our booth were from various backgrounds including furniture designers, manufacturers, sawmillers, people from building material and painting industries, and product development to name a few. This gathering event turned out to be a great opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds, and share and exchange ideas with them.

Wood Materials in Highly Valued through Least Valued Form

Hidakuma had wood materials displayed in various forms in cubic meters at seven different stages of trees: from foliage, smaller trees*, lumber, woodchips, mill ends, sawdust, and furniture.  Those are the stages of wood materials that are hard to put a value on, and we have difficulties finding the best use of them. We were hoping that, with the materials on display, we could find new and alternative use.
In this article below, we will show the materials in detail, including their use and market value.

*Smaller tree refers to a log with its diameter on top end of the tree for no more than 18 cm.

Foliage

Foliage staright out of Hida forest.

Sharing twigs with visitors enjoying the scent from fragrant wood such as spicebush. FabCafe Hida, operated by Hidakuma, offers Kuromoji (spicebush) Tea.

Foliage is left in the forest during the delivery as they can be an extra weight and burden for wood process and delivering. Too much of it on the ground cannot help the lumber process. Having said so, foliage is a great resource of nutrition for the next generation of forest. ¥0〜/㎥

Smaller Trees

The right side shows the smaller trees, and the left foliage.

Displayed 11 different kinds of smaller trees - maple, amur cork tree, magnolia, cherry, dogwood, alder, horse chestnut, beech, basswood, cherry birch, and chestnut.

Those smaller trees are removed when clear-cutting the area as they can affect the growth of the trees that manufacturers would need. As unsuitable for manufacturing furniture, those that are less than 26cm in diameter are used as firewood, railroad tie, and wood pulp.
While those trees are all currently used as chipping wood and mushroom bed, they were used as construction materials for furniture, piano keyboard, and chopsticks, depending on what they fit best. Bark of amur cork trees had been used as an ingredient for Chinese medicine before. ¥8,000〜/㎥

Lumber

Those materials are brought straight from Hidakuma’s stock.

The materials vary from horse chestnut, oak, raisin tree, beech and walnut.

Those are the lumber manufactured for the use of furniture. After one year of sun-dry seasoning, those materials are placed in a drier to lower the moisture content level, then used as the main materials for furniture. ¥200,000〜/㎥

Woodchips

Staff brought freshly chipped wood just before the Expo to offer the full fragrance and the fresh texture of the four different kinds of trees - cherry, chestnut, oak, and magnolia.

These woodchips will be part of magnolia strand board.

Wood chips accumulates as large sawing machine shreds the wood materials. Those piled up pieces that are made in the process of logging will be used as part of biomass, wood pulp or mushroom bed.  ¥15,000〜/㎥

Mill Ends

Most of the mill ends are the left-overs from August projects at Hidakuma.

No matter how hard we try to minimize the left-over production, we always have mill ends. We try hard to find ways to use them.

In the process of furniture manufacturing, there are parts that need to be cut off from the main portion of the wood. Those include the pieces with cracks, outer side and any odd-shaped unnecessary part of the logs, which end up being used as burning fuel for boiler and stove, or as wood chips. ¥5,000〜/㎥

Sawdust

It is the sawdust collected at Hidakuma in November.

These are mostly used as sleeping bed for cows at Bokuseisha, milk factory, whose milk is served at FabCafe Hida.

Sawdust is the outcome of any wood processing when using a machine plane or bandsaw. They will be used as sleeping bed for cows in Hida ranches. ¥1,500〜/㎥

Furniture

The furniture displayed on site uses various hardwood tree materials, with solid wood on the top, and thin plate for the sides.

Introduced magnolia strand board and veneer, and how chesnut surface looks like in saw finish style.

This is the sampling materials with various hardwood materials. At Hidakuma we use this board as a sample for architects and clients. Right front: Herringbone mix of hardwood materials from Hida forest region. Left front: beech mixture of chestnut, magnolian oak, and beech.

At Expo, we had some photos of some office spaces we created using Hida hardwood materials.

Even wood with narrow width or thin materials can still be part of furniture with good profit. Various wood types and mixing the grains have potential to make the product unique. ¥300,000〜/㎥ (Price may vary.)

Three Days of Contemplation on Hida Forest and Human Relationship

Hidakuma booth had many team members from different stages of our business – from lumber delivery, designing, manufacturing, to delivering the final product. We hope the visitors enjoyed physically touching the wood materials on display, and discovering the beauty of the forest. During the three-day event, some of the visitors shared their questions and new ideas on what we could do with our wood materials, which made us realize more potentials of Hida hardwood materials.

Hidakuma uniforms

These jackets are designed by Patagonia, who co-developed some products including cutting board.

We distributed Illustration copies of Hidakuma (Hida) drawn by Illustrator Oharu.

Long Journey to the Expo Site

Smaller trees from Okuhida Development, 18-22cm in diameter, are delivered by heavy machine equipment, as these trees are fresh and heavy.

Filled 4-ton truck with wood materials.

Staff members were busy to finish up their work before loading the wood materials into trucks.

New Forms of Office Space that Hidakuma Staff and We All Long for

Special project area Office-Up offered an alternative style of office in the current working environment where there exists various forms of working styles including tele-working, office sharing, and co-working space.

Along with the long table in the middle of the site were a variety of fabulous chairs different companies manufactured. The area offered everyone to naturally transit into working mode.
The Expo also had displaying areas for furniture, beddings, home textiles, lighting fixtures, garden furniture, tableware, and food, where you can enjoy high quality stories of each item. Also during the expo, there were sessions visitors can participate to think about environmentally accommodating design so as to reuse left-over materials out of productions and distribution.

“What is the Future Working Style?” Chiaki Hayashi Talked at “Odekake Creative Night” Show.

On November 22, branding designer, Akihiro Nishizawa from Eight Branding Design, interviewed Chiaki Hayashi, the representative director of Loftwork, and chairperson of Hidakuma Inc., as a special version of “live broadcasting from another site” for Creative Night talk show. The talk covered various hints and tips on creativity.

Hayashi talked about how Loftwork came about, its first project, and one of the on-going joint projects 100BANCH (pronounced Hyakubanch) jointly produced by Panasonic, Loftwork, and Cafe Company. The talk also touched upon one of Hidakuma’s projects, in which the company designs the forms of how forest and humans interact with each other in order to provide better service.

”Creativity does not yield profit”, “Venture business is a waste of time”, or “Best to work for large companies”. Those are the statements we used to hear 10 years ago. But now the extreme opposite is becoming the norm of our value. With such constantly changing value, Hayashi emphasized how important it would be to hear out and take in younger generations’ voice in our decision making.

Our Thanks and Invitation to FabCafe Hida

We are grateful for those who came to pay a visit to IFFT/Interior Lifestyle Living. For those who did not make it to the expo, I hope this article gave you a feel for what it would have been like at the expo site, and perhaps got you interested in Hidakuma as well as the project to make use of hardwood trees of Hida.
Please come and visit Hidakuma’s hub place FabCafe Hida, where we offer the true essence of Hida forest and woods.
We look forward to having you.

Interested in Creating Architecture and Design with Hida’s Hardwood Trees?

Hidakuma’s professional staff members are here to offer you a total support, ranging from consulting, designing to set up of wood space, building materials, and furniture. For enquiry, please contact us from here.