• Event Report

Material Meetup TOKYO vol.02 “Materials that Stimulate the Senses” – Report

Material Meetup TOKYO is a “material disassembly show” that unravels the charm of materials. The theme of the second buzzing Material Meetup TOKYO was "materials that stimulate the senses". We will report what happened.

Event Summary:Material Meetup TOKYO vol.02: “Materials that Stimulate the Senses” (Written in Japanese)

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.

Keita Akiyama                                                                                         Kazuya Ohara

List of materials introduced at the event

“Desktop vacuum-forming machine V.former”
Rayama Pack Co., Ltd. President Yoshihiro Rayama

Masking Color
TAIYO TORYO Co., Ltd. Director & CTO Asako Kamiyama

Taica Corporation Multifunctional Materials Business Unit, αGEL Sales Department Hideyuki Uchida
DIC Color Design, Inc.
ASIA COLOR TREND BOOK Editor-in-Chief Eri Ohmae and Deputy Editor-in-Chief Fumiko Goto

DIC Color Design, Inc.
ASIA COLOR TREND BOOK Editor-in-Chief Eri Ohmae and Deputy Editor-in-Chief Fumiko Goto

Deciphering each material

At the event, not only material manufacturers, but also creators who use materials came together to understand the episodes, concepts, preferences, and challenges involving the materials.

Unexpected Discoveries

[ Case: 01 ]  ASIA COLOR TREND BOOK – A Book Connecting Materials and People

The world’s only Asian trend book, ASIA COLOR TREND BOOK, launched in 2008 and has reached its ninth volume this year. This is an omnidirectional compilation of trends in Asia, with articles focusing on Asian social background and values and cutting-edge art and design, as well as a color palette expressing sensibilities unique to Asia, and a wide variety of material samples which you can touch and feel.
ASIA COLOR TREND BOOK is a series of books that connect materials and people. For example, in “ASIA COLOR TREND BOOK 2019-20”, you’ll find “aluminum honeycomb”, a structural material for planetary probes, made byShowa Aircraft Industry Co., Ltd., a manufacturer of Japanese aerospace honeycomb. Earrings enclosing this honeycomb into a transparent, circular acrylic, called “Honeycomb + Gum / GUM EARRING”, were created because of an encounter between the material and creators. Originally not something that people would see, it was just an industrial material that was turned into a unique glowing accessory through encounters with creators.
A miracle happens when materials made from various Asian countries are collected and combined, setting trend themes and turning into unexpected, mysterious and unprecedented works. “ASIA COLOR TREND BOOK” is a trend book that connects materials that are full of hidden possibilities to people.

Removing bias

The theme of this event is “materials that stimulate the senses”. When you say “senses”, even at a glance, there are so many types. Fun to touch, fun to see, and so on. How were materials created that stimulate the difficult-to-define “senses”? There was an unbiased, new, but shareable perspective.

[ Case: 02 ] αGEL – Valuing a sensibility born from an “amateur” perspectiveThe silicone gel material “αGEL” is soft to touch. It excels in shock absorption, and its functions include anti-vibration, heat dissipation, and waterproofing. This material is used everywhere around us – from sports shoes and cars to industrial equipment, electronics and nursing care products. There are many variations of this material, varying in both softness and elasticity. Mr Uchida of TAIKA, a company which sells αGEL, noticed during sales meetings that many people commented how soft and comfortable this highly functional material. This led Uchida to collaborate with MTRL TOKYO to create a communication toolkit, allowing you to fully feel the intuitive characteristics of “softness”.

You can find a case study on the following page:Designing a new communication tool and sensory standards for αGEL https://mtrl.com/en/projects/taica/

[ Case: 03 ]  MASKING COLOR – Achieving a hit material by changing its characteristicsMASKING COLOR is a pen-type water-based paint which can be drawn, dried, peeled off and repainted. It was originally developed for painting cars. It differs from conventional paints in that it can be “peeled off”. This made MASKING COLOR into a hit product. At first glance, MASKING COLOR is difficult to see as a paint. However, the key to this product was the exciting feeling of wondering “what exactly is this?”.

Developing new markets

[ Case: 04 ]  Desktop vacuum-forming machine V.former – Developing Products Aligned with Individual IdentitiesThe 3D modelling machine “Desktop Vacuum-Forming Machine V.former” enables even children to easily make 3D objects in a short time. By removing unnecessary functions from a general vacuum forming machine and making it simple to use, this machine can operate at a low voltage of 100V, with a price of less than 300,000 yen. You can see the moment that it vacuum processes, and how it can take any number of molds instantly without downtime.
How did this machine come into being? Originally, Mr. Rayama from Rayama Pack Co., Ltd., which is in the processing industry, had a problem: how to make work more enjoyable for employees. He thought to himself, “I wish we had a product our employees would enjoy so much that they’d want to introduce it to others”. This gave Rayama the idea of the “desktop vacuum-forming machine V.former”. He says, “what I really like the most about the V.former is when I can see children’s smile”. This is a vacuum forming machine that makes not only employees, but also various other people smile.

Drinking, talking and discovering.

There were over a hundred visitors on the day, making it hard to take even a step forward. Many people were truly stimulated by touching the materials, and many ideas and opinions were exchanged as people drank and talked. The venue was wrapped in heat, so that everyone could forget the cold of winter. It was a night where new aspects of materials were pioneered, and stimulation was brought forth.