• #InteriorDesign
  • #Crafts
  • #Sustainable



  • #InteriorDesign
  • #Crafts
  • #Sustainable


  • New Traditions Prize
  • The Endless Possibilities for Future Generations Prize
  • New Lifestyles from Cultural Inheritance Prize





Judge’s Comments

Anni Korkman

Programme Director of Helsinki Design Week & Weekly, Fiskars Village Art & Design Biennale, Luovi Productions Ltd

New Traditions Prize

Love the realization and the dialogue between the old and the new! I could imagine TATAMI ReFAB PROJECT creating a meaningful bond for the product and the end user through the use of traditional references. The sense of familiarity might create engagement too. I’m happy to see the project fighting the global phenomena of the loss of dexterity and the decreasing use of traditional (local) craftsmanship through making use of these valuable skills and creativity in new contexts.

Darlene Damm

Faculty Chair and Former Vice President of Community and Impact, Singularity University

The Endless Possibilities for Future Generations Prize

The project transforms a material again and again. First a plant is turned into a tatami mat. Then a tatami mat is turned into beautiful furniture and objects with the help of 3D printing. 3D printing will also allow anyone to design and create their own objects. The project is recycling goods as well as helping people see what a tatami mat can become, at a time when they are being replaced by less sustainable goods. The project leaders mentioned they hoped to connect the project to the original farmers. It might be possible to use a sensor and block chain technology to track the original materials over the course of their lifecycle. The farmers could see the different products other people create with the tatami over time and farmers could receive a financial compensation every time the tatami is turned into something new and (re)sold. Perhaps everyone who participated in the tatami's journey could be kept up to date and compensated. Over time an object's value increases the more times it is recycled through its life, creating an economy that incentives recycling.

Hiroshi Irie

Manager at the East Japan Railway Company in the Innovation Strategy Division, Digital Business Unit

New Lifestyles from Cultural Inheritance Prize

Tatami mats are a fixture of the Japanese home and something that I as a Japanese person would like to preserve forever. However, tatami could eventually disappear due to falling demand and the disappearance of the craft. It’s difficult to create new demand for tatami, and there haven’t been enough good ideas in this area. This initiative is repurposing tatami for the current era and giving craftspeople a place to use their skills, which is hugely meaningful on both a cultural level and for the environment. What we call “tatami” actually has the potential to take many new forms, so I have high hopes for what this project can achieve next.


Special Prize Winners