Fritz Hansen and CONNECT Come Together To Help Regional Revitalization Through Scandinavian Interiors
Japanese and Danish design share a rich history, and some very similar principles. In fact, a 2018 exhibition we were lucky enough to attend at Copenhagen's Design Museum showed that Danish designers were being influenced by Japanese design as far back as the 1870s.
Today, one of Denmark's most influential design brands Fritz Hansen have teamed up with Japanese store CONNECT to help revitalise the island of Honjima in Kagawa Prefecture. With a population of around 300 people, the island faces continuing problems such as an ageing population, uninhabited houses, and vacant lots.
Tomohito Takagi who founded CONNECT 15 years ago, along with students from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts have been working since 2017 at tackling the renovation of the region's derelict buildings.
Fritz Hansen felt strongly about the work being done by Takagi and his team and have decided to do their part by furnishing an uninhabited house on Hojima to attract attention to the region and the important work being done there.
Fritz Hansen-An is an exhibit of Fritz Hansen’s collections (including design classics such as the Arne Jacobsen Egg Lounge Chair, Drop Chair and the Kaiser Idell Lamp) held in an old Edo-period house in the Kasashima district, which is an area that has been designated a National Important Preservation District for Groups of Historic Buildings.
In this exhibition, you can enjoy the fusion of Japanese architecture and Danish masterpieces. The floral and greenery displays in the Fritz Hansen-An are an installation by Nicolai Bergmann Flowers & Design, a floral design brand led by Danish flower artist Nicolai Bergman.
In the vicinity of the Fritz Hansen-An you can also see the renovation projects that Takagi is working on with KADK students. Because the population of the island is composed mostly of elderly people, one cannot exactly say that it is easy to stay on the island, despite the fact that some people operate inns there. Therefore, Takagi aims to create an environment where one can easily drop by the island by building a facility for overnight stays. To do this, his company is working on a project with the goal of opening a guesthouse.
In addition to these projects, Takagi opened Honjima Stand at the ferry dock of the island. He took over the site of the island’s long-running and only casual eatery, which was closed due to the advanced age of the owner. Takagi started operating Honjima Stand as a place for communicating information about the island to others. During the exhibition, the site will welcome visitors as the N01 Café. This café will introduce the N01 chair, which was designed by the Japanese design office nendo.
We encourage you to visit the island of Honjima, which has been a transportation center in the Setouchi area since the time of Hideyoshi Toyotomi. Here you can get a panoramic view of the calm seascape of Setouchi and the magnificent Seto Ohashi Bridge, and feel the area’s history and culture while enjoying the harmonious blend of Danish design space with Japanese architecture. Dates: from September 28 (Sat) to mid-December 2019