A Japanese furniture maker turns 100 and looks to Portland for inspiration moving forward

We organized an amazing collaboration between Kotobuki, a Japanese furniture maker, and our Evolve Collab team members.

Kotobuki recently celebrated their 100th year anniversary. In light of this milestone, the new CEO Mr. Koyo Fukazawa has been pushing the boundary of their classic furniture making by actively collaborating with designers outside of Japan to encourage innovation.

Kotobuki + Evolve Collab

Prior to starting the workshop, we put together a tailored tour of Portland to serve as inspiration and research for the workshop participants. We highlighted upon the public spaces, parks and production spaces in the city. We also visited various innovative creative agencies such as W+K, Airbnb, Ziba Design, and Nike to see the current trends of these prestigious creative offices in the US.

Our workshop consisted of three phases. The first day was allotted for exploration. Any and all possibilities were open to brainstorming. We kickstarted with various projects and came up with hundreds of ideas.

Phase two on the following day was then focused on filtering through our ideas from the previous day. Our thought process was to view which ideas were the most realistic and how to make them a reality.

On the 3rd day, we came together to discuss our ideas further. More importantly, the third day enabled us to bring the workshop to a phase of conclusion. We reviewed what had been learned during our time together and then summarized the workshop.

The entire workshop was fully documented by both teams and Evolve Collab gave the final summary / document 2 weeks after this workshop to fully engaged with Kotobuki team.

In addition to the main event of the workshop, we also worked with our team members Brenda Russell and Michael Jones to create a special exercise program meant to help release stress and ease tension during the workshop. The exercise program proved to be very successful it also served as a bonding opportunity with the team members.

We tried to keep the workshop from just 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. More physical exercise was added to the schedule as well as dinner at popular Portland restaurants. These meals were intended to immerse the participants completely so they could really understand the culture.

The most productive workshop that has ever been done by Evolve Collab

On the final day of the workshop, we rented the rooftop of the Society Hotel and had a celebration party. We all had an incredible and memorable time.

Although all the kotobuki participants were non-English speakers, we had our team members Midori Karasawa and Mina LaFountain help our workshop run smoothly. They are both professionally trained translators who have been in the design industry for a long time.

The end result of this workshop was amazing and Founder of Evolve Collab, Christian … told us that this workshop was the most productive workshop that has ever been done by Evolve Collab.

1001 SW Morrison St. Portland, Oregon 97205, United States / (503) 222-0335 / info@upliftpdx.com