The Ishinomaki Workshop is a furniture brand that expands the possibilities of DIY through the power of design.
Ishinomaki Laboratory, of which Ashizawa is the founder and current president, was formed in 2011 as a 'place for local manufacturing'. Ashizawa was commuting to Ishinomaki to help rebuild the restaurant and home of one of his friends and clients who he had known before the earthquake. After conducting on-site research, he started the project as a place that could be used for recovery and reconstruction.
With the help of friends and volunteers, DIY support activities were carried out in addition to the restoration and renovation of facilities. An early highlight was working with local high school students to create over forty benches for outdoor film screenings. In the same year, Herman Miller collaborated with the Ishinomaki Laboratory through the Disaster Area Support Programme and provided furniture while co-hosting a furniture-making workshop with the victims. Design workshops where ideas and skills can be acquired are still ongoing.
Subsequently, talented Japanese and international designers and staff in Ishinomaki began to produce, line up and sell attractive products and operate independently. Today, the Ishinomaki Laboratory brand has a workshop in Ishinomaki and a showroom in Tokyo, as well as made-in-local partners in over ten countries around the world. A feature of Ishinomaki Laboratory's furniture designs is its use of ready-made materials, designed to be easily assembled using simple cuts and screws.