Hozumi Lumbermill Project

Who: Yamazaki, Daigo, Nishigami, Yamakado, Deno, Utsumi, Maruyama, Miyawaki, Abe, Akamatsu
Where:Hozumi Lumbermill at Shimagahara, Iga City, Mie Prefecture
When:from August 2007

Forestry Design Projects

Shimagahara District of Iga City in Mie Prefecture consists of 80% forest, and 80% of the forest area is man-made.  Demand for lumber has been low, devastating the man-made forest, which not only cause natural disasters such as landslides but also destroy ecological linkages. Depopulation and aging of society reduces the number of foresters, causing devastation of the forests. The purpose of the Hozumi Lumbermill Project is to solve the problems by exchanging ideas between urban and rural groups in a public space provided by a local company.

Shimagahara District has a beautiful natural environment with a rich local culture. The owner of the lumbermill also owns a large part of the forest. In the project for a School of Furniture Making, the people from cities will stay in Shimagahara over a weekend(s) to learn how to make desks, chairs, bookshelves etc. directed by designers and professionals. Those people also have a chance to witness the lumber process and understand the problems faced by an under-managed forest.

Collaboration of Community, Designers and Students

Up to now, the project has been in the preparation stage for the School. We asked young architects in Kansai Region to design dormitories for people to stay. In addition, we have designed and built working spaces for people and locals to make furniture.  Some young people actually moved to the district to continue making furniture.  In the future, we are planning to continue a “Furniture-Making Tour”, making other wooden products, and branding the products of this district by collaborating with the local community, designers and students.