Our Japan Design Fellow at San Francisco, Hiromi Tabei, got a tour of the future e5star Wetsuit Workshop site by the owner, Yutaka Nakamura. The site is not big, however it is a big step forward for Nakamura-san after he lost everything including his house and workshop for the tsunami on March 11, 2011.
Nakamura-san told Hiromi that he does not want to make his business any bigger than it used to be, because he enjoyed making each custom-made wetsuits by his hands. He wants his new workshop to be functional but also funky. He suggested to incorporate some Japanese traditional interior as well as exterior. Satoshi Suzuki, the designer for this project and also a surfer himself, was excited to create a workshop with unusual elements.
The design team is going to move forward with design soon. So stay tuned! First off, we are thinking about removing this moldy ceiling and this funky (but dirty) floor ties. The team is hoping to make this space attractive for surfers to come back to Ishinomaki once the water gets safe enough for them to surf again, and stimulate the local economy as they did before the tsunami.