Product design: Thai-Japan partnership
- Published: 29/10/2012 at 03:21 PM
- Online news:
Design with high level of craftsmanship & Thai business partnerships, focus of Japan Pavilion at Bangkok International Gifts Fair at BITEC.
Fair showcases craftsmanship of latest design products from the Land of the Rising Sun
The recent Bangkok International Gifts Fair and Bangkok International Houseware Fair 2012 (BIG+BIH)... at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (BITEC), was a huge success.
...business operators from Thailand and around the world [presented] their latest lifestyle and design products....
One of the displays that drew a lot of attention was the Japanese Pavilion ... by the Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro Bangkok) and the Japanese Institute of Design Promotion (JIDP)... [which displayed] lifestyle products that showcased unique Japanese craftsmanship.
...Jetro's mission is to promote bilateral trade and investment between Japan and Thailand...The Japan Pavilion works as a centre to connect Japanese companies seeking potential partners in Thailand, and Thai lifestyle and design companies seeking Japanese partnership with a view to exporting....
[The] Daruma project was initiated in order to restore Thailand and Japan businesses affected by last year's flood and earthquake, presenting Thai SME products and services to Japanese business partners, ... not only bringing Japanese products in, but also taking Thai products to Japan as well.
....One item which caught the attention of fair-goers was the G-Mark nail clipper by Suwada, a company founded seven decades ago in a small village. Some 450 years ago this village, governed by a famous samurai leader named Uesugi Kenshin, was famed for producing knives, blades and samurai swords
The Suwada nail clipper is 100% handmade in an open factory where tourists are welcome to visit and observe the production process. What distinguishes the Suwada nail clipper is its sharpness derived from traditional sword-making methods.
"Many customers have asked me how long they can use the Suwada nail clipper; my answer is 70 years because the nail clipper that my grandfather first produced 70 years ago is still working," said Mr Suwada [the owner of the company]. "Our main markets are Japan and Europe, mostly high-class nail salons and barber shops. For instance, the oldest barber shop in London uses our nail clippers.
The Suwada nail clipper is not yet available in Asia but the company is currently looking for a distributor in this region.
Another interesting design product from Japan is the "Holding Cushion" by Accent Co Ltd. The cushion is a perfect blend of soft toy and huggable pillow and comes in four different characters - Loris (monkey), Rab (rabbit), Sloth (bear) and Korat (cat) - available in different sizes, colours and patterns.
Using a special material the pillow is designed for holding and hugging, acting as a "healing doll" that makes users feel as if they are being hugged back.
The initial target group for the holding cushion was working women stressed from work and needing company or something to hold on to and relax. Another creative Japanese design product for women is the exquisite Koyudo make-up brush. The brushes, which are made from mountain goat hair, are crafted according to traditional techniques used to make Japanese calligraphy brushes in Kumano, a city famed for its brush-makers since the Edo period (1603-1868). The make-up brushes are handmade by craftsmen who pay attention to the details that machines are not capable of. As a result, the brushes are perfectly soft, smooth and gentle on ... facial skin....
(Source: Bangkok Post, Shopping, Quintessentially Japanese, Fair showcases craftsmanship of latest design products from the Land of the Rising Sun, 29/10/2012, Thanida Tansubhapol, link)
Product Design Vocabulary
design - the way that something is made so that it looks a certain way (appearance or form) or works in a certain (function) (See Wikipedia)
industrial design - "the use of a combination of applied art and applied science to improve the aesthetics [beauty], ergonomics [easy to use and comfortable], functionality, and usability of a product, but it may also be used to improve the product's marketability and production" (See Wikipedia)
quintessentially - serving as the perfect example of a country, person or kind of thing
craftsmanship - skill at making things ฝีมือ
craftsman - 1. a person who is skilled at making things; 2. people who make beautiful or practical objects using their hands ช่างฝีมือ
showcase – to show the best qualities or parts of something แสดงจุดเด่นของสิ่งของหรือคน
fair showcases craftsmanship
calligraphy - fancy writing; handwritten letters and alphabet as an art form ศิลปในการคัดลายมือ (See Wikipedia)
Japanese calligraphy - (See Wikipedia)
Land of the Rising Sun - another way to say "Japan"
Bangkok International Gifts Fair and Bangkok International Houseware Fair 2012 (BIG+BIH) - (See website)
Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (BITEC) - "a convention and exhibition hall in Bang Na district, Bangkok, Thailand. It opened in 1997 and has a total floor area of 50,400 square metres. Among the events it hosts is the annual Bangkok International Motor Show" (See Wikipedia)
Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro Bangkok) - the Japanese government agency that promotes exports with offices in many countries (See Wikipedia)
Japanese Institute of Design Promotion (JIDP) - (See website)
business operators - businesses doing some kind of business
lifestyle - the living conditions and things people do everyday (fashion, home decoration, pets, cooking, music, tv, movies, garden, etc) รูปแบบการดำเนินชีวิต
lifestyle and design products
attention - when people are interested in something
drew a lot of attention - made people interested in it
one of the displays that drew a lot of attention
caught the attention of - when people saw it they became interested in it
one item which caught the attention of fair-goers
pavillion - a building or tent at an exhibition or show
the Japanese Pavilion
unique - very special, unusual or good ที่มีลักษณะพิเศษ เป็นเอกลักษณ์
showcased unique Japanese craftsmanship
mission - an important job that someone plans to do in the future งาน
bilateral - involving two groups or countries เกี่ยวกับกลุ่มทางการเมืองสองกลุ่ม สองข้าง,
trade - the buying and selling of goods การค้าขาย
bilateral trade - the buying and selling of goods between countries (exports and imports)
investment - taking your money and putting it into projects to make a profit or earn interest (buying stock shares, bonds, real estate)
promote bilateral trade and investment between Japan and Thailand
partners - people or companies working together on a project; the companies owning part of the joint venture หุ้นส่วน
Japanese business partners
potential - possible ความเป็นไปได้
Japanese companies seeking potential partners in Thailand
partnership - working together on a project or business
with a view to - doing this in order to .... ; planning to
design companies seeking Japanese partnership with a view to exporting
initiated - created; started ริเริ่มโดย
the project was initiated
restore - to cause a particular situation to exist again, especially a good one ฟื้นฟูสภาพ
earthquake - a sudden shaking movement of the ground แผ่นดินไหว
restore businesses affected by last year's flood and earthquake
nail clipper - a small device used to trim and cut fingernails and toenails when they grow long, also called "nail trimmer" or "nail clipper"(See Wikipedia)
decades - periods of ten years เป็นสิบๆปี
founded seven decades ago in a small village
govern - to provide government services (control, manage) an area, city or whole country
a village governed by a famous samurai leader
famed for producing knives, blades and samurai swords
handmade - made by a person with their hands (not automatically by a machine)
process - a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ
observe - to watch or study someone or something with care สังเกตการณ์
observe the production process
tourists are welcome to visit and observe the production process
distinguishes - being different from other things (of the same kind or type) because of some special unique feature
What distinguishes the Suwada nail clipper is
traditional - things (clothes, music, customs, etc.) that have been part of a country or society for a long time
traditional sword-making methods
derived from ... - coming from ...; produced from ...
sharpness derived from ...
sharpness derived from traditional sword-making methods
distributor - a company that supplies goods and products to shops (that then sell them to customers)
looking for a distributor in this region.
cushion - a cloth bag filled with soft material such as foam or feathers used to make more comfortable (for example, a seat cushion)
blend - mixture, combining two or more things, putting or mixing things together
soft toy - cuddly toy; fluffy toy; soft toy; stuffed toy ตุ๊กตา
hug - to put your arms around someone or something to show love and friendship กอด (See Wikipedia)
huggable - able to be hugged, can hug it (if you want)
available in different sizes, colours and patterns
heal - make a sick person better; cure of sickness, make health problem disappear รักษา, เยียวยา, รักษาให้หาย
target - a goal; the amount you are planning to achieve เป้าหมาย
target group - the group a company is trying to sell its product to
initial - early; first; happening at the beginning of a process ในเบื้องต้น ในเบื้องต้น
initial target group
the initial target group for the cushion
stressed - nervous and anxious about what will happen (in the future, for example)
stressed from work
working women stressed from work
needing company - needing to have friends to be with (companion)
creative - creating and developing new original ideas, especially in art or literature
creative Japanese design product for women
exquisite - very beautiful; delicate สวยงาม, วิจิตร, งดงาม, อ่อนช้อย
the exquisite Koyudo make-up brush made from mountain goat hair
techniques - methods of doing a task or activity เทคนิค
crafted - done with great skill ประดิษฐ์โดยใช้ฝีมือ
crafted according to traditional techniques
brush - แปรง
Japanese calligraphy brushes
capable - able to do something; very good at a job มีความสามารถ
machines are not capable of this
pay attention - be careful about, spend time doing (do not forget about)
pay attention to details
pay attention to the details that machines are not capable of
handmade by craftsmen who pay attention to the details that machines are not capable of
About the author
- Writer: Jon Fernquest
Position: Assistent Manager Educational services