• Event Report

Materials that react – Material Meetup TOKYO vol.01 – Report

Material Meetup TOKYO is an event that explores the appeal of materials. The big day of the very first meetup was Wednesday November 21st, 2018, and the theme was “materials that react.”

What is Material Meetup TOKYO?

Material Meetup is an event where manufacturers of materials and creators and
designers who use materials come together to discover the charms of materials
from corner to corner.

The organizers of this event were MTRL TOKYO producer Kazuya Ohara and
Fushigi Design representative Keita Akiyama.

List of materials introduced at the event


Presenter: Shuji Saito, Head of the Central Techno Corporation Tokyo office.

Left: Shuji Saito     Right: Samples printed with “SUNLUMISIS INK”, a fluorescent substance that emits light and color when exposed to black light.


“Temperature sensitive filament for 3D printers”

Presenter: Takatoshi Nakatani from Textile Material Production Development
Department, UNITIKA LTD.

Left: Yukitoshi Nakatani
Right: Rose molded with thermo-sensitive filament


“Bubble Wrap (Puchi puchi)”

Presenter: Ayaka Sugiyama, managing director of Bubble Wrap Culture Research Lab,
Kawakami Sangyo Co., Ltd.

Left: Ayaka Sugiyama
* Puchi puchi is a registered trademark of Kawakami Sangyo Co., Ltd.

Deciphering each material

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Which came first, the
application or the development?

Discussion at the event covered anecdotal stories about materials and delved
deeply into issues that companies are facing. How did SUNLUMISIS INK and
thermo-sensitive filament come to be developed?

[Case: 01] Changing the form according to the requirements SUNLUMISIS INK

The fluorescence technology involved in SUNLUMISIS INK was developed by a
university lab and was then commercialized by Central Techno Corporation. The ink

has been used for a variety of purposes—not only as an ink for printing and coating,
but also in filaments for 3D printers and in Christian Dior nail polish.


[Case: 02] Development at UNITIKA LTD.

The filament was developed by Nakatani by getting a bit carried away!
At UNITIKA LTD., 90% of materials development normally occurs due to client
demand, so this thermo-sensitive filament that came to be developed by getting carried
away with things is an odd fellow for the company. It seems the company had a hard
time getting the sales representative to attend the event. The company is also
considering ideas to develop thermo-sensitive filament for machinery such as industrial
jigs, whose shapes can be modified. It will be interesting to see whether this odd fellow
might inspire change at the company.

“Now that we’ve made it, we’ve got to get it out there,” says Nakatani, laughing. In conjunction to
working as a researcher, he also does ends up doing sales himself.

The importance of conveying excitement to people in the company

For manufacturers whose marketing is mainly B2B, B2C marketing activities
embarrassingly limited. In this regard, I get the impression that the Bubble Wrap
Culture Research Lab led by Sugiyama has an understanding of “play” as corporate
culture, as seen in its commercialization of “boundless bubble wrap” in conjunction
with BANDAI CO.,LTD. and other such endeavors.
How did the research lab deepen its understanding of the company?

[Case: 03] Until bubble wrap becomes a culture

Although bubble wrap is well known as a packing material that is a must-have for
transporting fragile items, it is not limited to this role only. It has also been used for
posters, for advertisements that can be touched and enjoyed.
There have also been ideas to have heart-shaped “lucky bubbles” hidden among the
round bubbles, so that the person who finds a lucky bubble feels amazingly happy.
Taking advantage of the large amounts of air contained in bubble wrap, the material
has also been used to create sleeping bags as emergency bedding for disaster victims.
Bubble wrap has evolved beyond a mere packaging material in these kinds of ways.

These interesting experiments have attracted media attention. They have also had
other positive effects, such as better recruitment, making them positively received
within the company as well.

Ukiyo-e puchi puchi, a wrapping material made from film gravure printed with Ukiye-e
images fused onto bubble wrap.

Drinking, talking and discovering.

The true pleasure of Material Meetup lies not only in the discovery of materials, but
also in the creation of connections between people. This is the kind of encounter that
definitely does not come into being by just being online.

The number of visitors on the day was far greater than capacity. The participants were
split about 50–50 between those coming from companies and creators/designers.
Questions and answers were flying about at the venue.