love at first sight
One day, Mr. U, an engineer from a public institution, visited Storio Co., Ltd. and showed me a piece of solid wood bent into various shapes.
Storio's representative, Kimura, saw it at first sight and instinctively thought, "If we commercialize this, we can create something interesting."
The reason for this is that conventional bentwood products are usually made of molded plywood, which has limitations in terms of thickness and flexibility. The surface was also beautiful, and the material had thinness, strength, and elasticity.
Then I started to wonder if I could do something interesting with this material.
As a starting point, we started prototyping a desktop item that we would like to use at work.
However, it is not easy to bend it in one bite. There were problems such as cracking, cracking over time, and deformation. Mr. U and we solved each problem one by one, tried out processing, and searched for what could be done, what could not be done, and what could be improved.
Prototype to competition
The prototype was successfully completed and submitted to the 2011 Niigata IDS Design Competition.
Although we did not win an award, we received high evaluations and high expectations from the judges, which made us all the more excited.
"If we're going to do it anyway, let's make the world's best products that can only be made with this material." "Let's make something with originality."
However, despite his enthusiasm, he hadn't established a method or procedure for designing from scratch and commercializing it, so he was wondering how to proceed...
Encounter with "Hundred Years Story"
I came across a project called " Niigata Centennial Story " through the introduction of the NICO club I belong to.
"Niigata 100-Year Story" is an international brand from Niigata that supervises the development of products from companies participating in the project in the prefecture, and disseminates them domestically and internationally as a group of high-quality brands rather than single products.
This is a great chance to get advice from professional designers and excellent advisors from Niigata Industrial Creation Organization.
I immediately applied for a bentwood product project in line with the 2013 development theme, "Beauty and strength to polish a man," and was accepted.
Item selection with twists and turns
At the first meeting, several items such as lights, which were submitted at the time of application, were planned, but they were not decisive as items that intuitively showed the characteristics of materials and processing, so other plans were considered. rice field. Items that take advantage of the spiral shape, small items that are always close by, stools, etc. The development staff drew dozens of designs for the stool, but after much consideration, it was concluded that it would take time to commercialize it.
Then, at the meeting in August, when the design check should have progressed according to the schedule, we finally decided on the "glasses case".
Products with originality! At first, glasses cases seemed commonplace to us, and to be honest, we were confused. However, there is no doubt that it is an item that will be used with affection and that matches the concept of the 100-year story, and I thought it would be possible to commercialize it within the remaining schedule. Gradually, I came to think that I wanted to overcome the really high hurdle of creating a glasses case that people would want and would choose and buy, rather than a supplement to the glasses.
Days of trial and error, failures and discoveries
I drew a design picture, made a model out of cardboard, decided on the shape and specifications while receiving advice, and started prototyping.
It was a series of trial and error to bend it according to the design. One day, I made a small mistake in processing and discovered a more functional shape.
Blessed with such a lucky accident, it took time, but we steadily established processing technology.
In parallel with the production of eyeglass cases, we also independently designed and developed a special machine for bending wood.
Completed eyeglass case
In this way, the slide-type and tray-type eyeglass cases were finally completed.
At first glance, the glasses case looks like nothing out of the ordinary, but I think we were able to fully express the beauty of the wood grain and simple design, as well as the new possibilities of wood.
Together with the eyeglass case, the world's first processing technology was born, which was jointly developed by the prefecture's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology and Storio.
We named this material and the latest processing technology AvanWood .
It is a coined word of avant-garde (avant-garde, avant-garde) and wood (wood).
We would like to further evolve the technology that is still under development, and through Storio products, we would like to propose innovative and stimulating, yet elegant and high-quality wood designs to everyone.
Please feel the beauty and novelty of Storio products. And please look forward to the next product development.