Factory Museum

Tsubame-Sanjo Factory Festival Committee, 2021
Photo: Ooki Jingu

We designed the space and visuals for a special exhibition on the site of a former factory of over 2,000 m2, where polishing machines were once manufactured. The exhibition displayed products and processes made by craftsmen, the history and culture of Tsubame-Sanjo, and the history of the Tsubame-Sanjo factory festival.

A video following the manufacturing process at the factory was projected on a large steel screen and combined with actual products and processes. After the exhibition, the steel screens were dismantled and the materials reused.

An open-factory event, the Tsubame-Sanjo Factory Festival, has been held every October since 2013. The decision was made to postpone the 2021 event due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and to hold a temporary museum with safety measures. The exhibition was held for the first time in Tsubame-Sanjo, updating exhibitions previously held in Tokyo and other cities in Asia and Europe. The aim was to provide an opportunity for local people and Tsubame-Sanjo to look again at the manufacturing power and history of the area, moving towards the future. The creation of the exhibition and design process developed not only by thinking about colors and shapes but also through discussions face-to-face with Tsubame-Sanjo craftspeople. The large number of local primary, middle and high school students visiting was a source of great hope for the artisans.

Tsubame-Sanjo Factory Festival: The cities of Tsubame and Sanjo in Niigata Prefecture are known for metal manufacturing, and factories large and small can be found throughout the region. To promote the region’s appeal, the region founded an annual open-factory event in October of 2013 called the Tsubame-Sanjo Factory Festival. During the festival, more than 100 factories in the area open their workshops to the public, inviting people to experience manufacturing firsthand through tours and live demonstrations.

Co-organizer: Tsubamesanjo Regional Industries Promotion Center / Supervision: Method Inc. / Art Direction & Design: Spread / Photo: Kazuhiro Kodaira, Masahiko Tanoue / Projection: Tomoya Kishimoto / Edit & Text: Yoshinao Yamada / Translation: Zackary Kaplan / Website Production: Smile Farm Inc. / PR: How Inc.

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