Electronics Meets Crafts: Panasonic Teams up with Japanese Craftsmen

Electronics and crafts are sometimes mistaken for being at odds with each other as they compete for consumer dollars. But there’s so much that they share in common as they explore our sense of aesthetics and sensibilities about what it means to live well.

During Milan Design Week, which took place last week, electronics giant Panasonic teamed up with GO ON, a Kyoto-based consortium of creative craftsmen “dedicated to carrying on Kyoto’s legacy of traditional craftsmanship.”

For the “Electronics Meets Crafts” installation, craftsmen from GO ON worked with Panasonic engineers to create products that merge technology and tradition. Asahiyaki, a 400-year old ceramics and porcelain maker, developed induction heating-compatible teaware that gently heats to a boil as it sits on the beautiful wooden counter. Kaikado, known for their tin tea caddies, developed compact music speaker tea caddies. Music starts when the lid of the tea caddy is slid open and stops when it is closed. “In addition to the delightfully elegant movement of the lid on the Kaikado tea caddy, there is also the new sensation of listening to music through the vibrations in your hand as well as with your ears.”

The installation won “The Best Storytelling Award.” You can read more about the project here.

tea caddy speakers

Rather than a light bulb, the Take-koro lamps use ultra-compact LEDs interwoven in the intricate irregular pattern of bamboo strips created by the yatara-ami technique

A wooden bucket filled with silver beads holds small bottles of Japanese sake, which are buried in the beads to be either heated or cooled. The design combines the temperature-retaining wooden bucket, IH contactless power supply technology, and the experience of burying the bottles of sake in the silver beads.

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