Product development

    • February 21, 2022
    • May 24, 2022

    Do You Know How to Become Popular?

    Why male peacocks have colorful feathers Why do the colorful feathers of male peacocks attract female peacocks? Some people may accept the simple explanation: “Because they are beautiful,” but I never did. In all through my school days from primary to university, I was an enthusiastic student. My main research subject was always “How to become popular with girls,” though you can imagine the results of my study from the fact that it continued up until university. Anyway, it was only natural that such an enthusiastic student became interested in the colorful feathers of male peacocks and got to learn the handicap principle. The key to popularity is the handicap principle Please give it a careful thought. Don’t you think the attraction of the colorful feathers make no sense? For example, lion’s mane looks reasonable because it has a practical purpose as a protector, but what about the feathers? They […]

    • November 19, 2021
    • May 13, 2022

    How to Perform the Strength Test of Chairs

    All the Japanese classrooms look exactly the same All the Japanese classrooms look similar at any time and place. My major in college is education. I had visited many schools and found classrooms looked surprisingly uniform. As some of you may say “Likewise in my country,” but I think the uniformity of Japanese classrooms is by far more than yours. The main cause would be the classroom desks and chairs, I guess. You can see the same sets in no matter which school you visit in Japan. There’s almost no difference other than scribbles on them. Classroom desks and chairs are exposed to tough conditions Funnily enough, what students do with the chairs is also the same: tilting their chairs back. I bet you’ve done this before. Tilting your chair back and sometimes falling when getting beyond the point of no return. Students of inquiring mind try to figure out […]

    • September 14, 2021
    • May 15, 2022

    This Is What Devides Good Furniture from Bad

    Talent or hard work Do you believe in talent or hard work? This is the topic that has been debated since the beginning of history. I know I’m a little exaggerating, though. Making the topic even more complicated, some people say “Hard work is a talent itself.” One day, I found an interesting article related to this issue. Do you know the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment (SME)? SME is just observing children with marshmallows to see their self-control or delayed gratification under various conditions. The data were later used in many follow-up longitudinal studies. After seeing the data, make many people come to believe that the power of self-control is the key to success, like better SAT scores, keeping in better shape, etc. Stanford Marshmallow Experiment was biased Whether or not hard work is a talent itself. This is not a subject to debate here, but it’s a plain fact that […]

    • July 6, 2020
    • May 15, 2022

    How to Make New Furniture #7

      Tense chemistry made in the process No matter how many times they have gone through the same process, the product development team gets tense when presenting the first prototype of a new design to designers and receiving their initial feedback. The designers are so meticulous that they, at times, point out slightest details. It’s so detailed like “The armrests are five-millimeter thicker than the specification in my drawing.” I believe it is a starting point to eliminate discrepancies between them. To be more precise, they’re struglling to fill the gap between the prototype made by the product development team and the image designers have in their mind. The product development team always aims to fulfill structural and technical feasibilities as well as manufacturing efficiency, while making their best efforts to meet designers’ requests.   What makes us a Japanese brand? CondeHouse has collaborated with many designers from all over […]

    • June 29, 2020
    • May 15, 2022

    How to Make New Furniture #6

      Collaboration starting from Riki’s attitude to take on a challenge The above is the full-scale drawing of the RIKI WINDSOR collection. The development started in 1981 as the first collaboration project with a late renowned Japanese product designer, Riki Watanabe. In the following year, the designer used it for a hotel project he worked on. It is still a mystery why Riki placed such an offer to us, a nameless and young furniture maker. When receiving an offer from him, CondeHouse’s president at that time was so moved and thought the company finally got recognized as a quality furniture maker. The designer later said as his first impression “CondeHouse has already had a strong policy of working closely with designers, and every member, from the president down to craftspeople, has shared the same.” Perfect balance by Riki’s magic One day, Riki visited our factory with the above full-scale drawing. […]

    • June 24, 2020
    • May 15, 2022

    This Is How the Japanese People Sweat the Details

    The characteristics of the Japanese people I know it might be pointless to generalize national characters. Inherently people are all different. Even so, I can’t help thinking that we Japanese people are generally too detail-oriented. This national character might be one of the reasons for the low labor productivity. Currently, Japanese labor productivity has been least in the G7 countries for these 50 years. Don’t worry. Today’s topic is not about Japanese working environment or structure to create such low productivity. I’m just sharing how the national character influences our furniture production. Detail-oriented anytime, anywhere Drugs, guns, counterfeit goods, etc. I often displayed such contraband goods neatly and carefully. When I worked as a customs officer, my bosses always gave super-detailed instructions on how to display such goods. I though everyone did it but recently found it was not. Furthermore, we can see the difference of national characters even in […]

    • June 22, 2020
    • May 15, 2022

    How to Make New Furniture #5

    The one and only piece of furniture “Could you engrave the names of all family members on the back of the tabletop?” This inquiry well expresses the character of IPPONGI, one of our table collections. People who order this collection seem to want something more for furniture. Something more than what mass-produced products can offer. In order to make IPPONGI, we use trees over a hundred years old. It is popular especially among people who can enjoy the figures and knots of such trees as their unique characters. Sometimes, customers come to our factory to handpick their own special pieces out of the pile of wood materials in the drying process. Every piece of wood has its own expression: cracks, holes, etc. Such characters are made under severe natural circumstances. Customers choose special pieces, and we change them into the one and only piece of furniture in the world.   […]

    • June 17, 2020
    • May 15, 2022

    How to Use 3D Data for Furniture Production

    CNC machines and a zebra When I first saw CNC machines working at our factory, what came up to my mind was a zebra. To be more precise, it was a sense of superiority to AI that I had when learning AI couldn’t recognize a zebra. This was one of the biggest problems AI had. I don’t know if it’s fortunate or unfortunate, but 3D CG data had already solved the problem. My sense of superiority soon turned to that of awe, accordingly. Symbol grounding problem Professor Stevan Harnad named it as above. It is sometimes called “a zebra problem” from the example of a zebra he made. With its installed cameras, AI can process visual information. The problem is it couldn’t recognize a zebra because the verification data were character-string data. Let me explain it in more detail. A zebra is defined in the data “a horse with stripes.” […]

    • June 16, 2020
    • May 15, 2022

    How to Make New Furniture #4

    We restore it but don’t make it all new Our long-seller “BOLS” sofas often come back to us from around the country for restoration. The one in the above image was sent to us by a customer who fell in love with this sofa and purchased it several decades ago. Urethane foam cushions wrapped in cotton appeared from under the worn-out nu-buck upholstery. The cushions lost their resilience especially in the center part, and the color of the leather transfered. We are always glad to see worn-out sofas return because that means the users love them and want to keep using them further. We intentionally leave memorable scars as they are However, restoration could be somewhat challenging even for our craftspeople. In fact, it’s a lot harder than making one from scratch. Craftspeople must be able to determine the details of restoration. They must decide to what extent they need […]

    • June 8, 2020
    • May 15, 2022

    How to Make New Furniture #3

    A group of challenge addicts “Wow, this should be difficult.” This was the impression our product development team got when they first saw the sketches of the chair. At the same time, the stunningly beautiful design intrigued them. Someone said with enthusiasm, “We can learn a lot from overcoming the difficulties!” The chair, LAPIS, has a conventional Finnish look, designed by a Finnish designer couple, Sirkka and Timo Saarnio. This simple chair is composed of only three parts and is as light as three kilograms, with a backrest of beautiful grains, an ergonomic seating to fit the body line, and sturdy legs to firmly support body weight. The simple but strong structure was feasible by the latest technology (at that time) of wood molding press. Patience for the egos of wood pieces The product development team always struggles with wood warping even now. It was the biggest difficulty in developing […]