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Founded in 2011, Ishinomaki Laboratory started as a simple, public workshop for the local community devastated by the tsunami triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake. Along with running DIY workshops for residents affected by the disaster, Ishinomaki Laboratory participated in restoring and renovating local shops – as well as creating spaces where people could reimagine the future of the city together.


Combining good design with “handmade” products, the Ishinomaki Laboratory label was launched to market the products beyond the local community. Talented designers, from Japan and abroad, work together with the Ishinomaki Laboratory team to create a lineup of furniture and items that can be enjoyed together.


As the world’s first DIY label, Ishinomaki Laboratory is expanding the world & potential of DIY with good design. Through their activities, the belief is that DIY and design can energise people and communities – and life as a whole – in any situation or environment. The hope is that people around the world can rediscover their own innate creativity, to enrich everyday life and society for a more fulfilling future.



HLZFR. GMBH was founded in 2007 in Berlin as “Gesellschaft der Holzfreunde“ by Torben Schomaker and Jan Stauf. The HOLZFREUNDE (literally „Friends of Wood“) combine the competence of the architect, engineer and craftsman for the planning and building with wood in the field of building construction (wooden houses), custom built-ins (work series BERLINER KUECHE) and furnishing by Ishinomaki Laboratory (ISHINOMAKI LAB by HLZFR. GMBH).


The partnership started when we approached TORAFU ARCHITECTS to discuss production of the AA STOOL for the European market in early 2018. 


ISHINOMAKI LAB by HLZFR. GMBH is focusing on the versatility of the AA STOOL for everyday use. We are in the process of developing additional products to expand this potentials (AA PLATTE, AA BOHLE for the start).


ISHINOMAKI LAB by HLZFR. GMBH is in the process of expanding their portfolio of products by Ishinomaki Laboratory (Made in Local).


The Made in Local initiative started as a simple desire to somehow bring Ishinomaki Lab’s designs and story to a local context, and has since grown to encompass a more thorough relationship with people (local makers and market), place (locally-available materials), and product. 


Made in Local projects are currently located in London, Manila, and Berlin. Additionally, inspired by Made in Local, Ishinomaki Laboratory is also working on domestic collaborations in Japan. 


Ishinomaki Laboratory aims to further develop Made in Local projects with the hope that more communities can be invigorated by good design.

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