Aichaku I 2020

self generated research and film project 

project partner: Kilian Schneider

„Things store culture, knowledge and values“ (Ten Principles for Good Design, Dieter Rams, 2017). In our fast-moving world of abundance, product life cycles are becoming even shorter. This leads on the one hand to the accumulation and on the other hand to the rapid disposal of things and possessions. This raises the question of authenticity and sustainability. I wanted to explore whether design can be used to specifically sensitise an emotional connection to objects. In the spring of 2020, I went to Japan to conduct a research project, which involved exploring the Japanese concept of “Aichaku”. 

„The Japanese language uses the term Aichaku to describe emotional attachment to an object: It is a kind of symbiotic love for an object rooted in animism, which deserves affection not only for what it does but for what it is. If we acknowledge that there is Aichaku in our designed environment, we can make a better effort to design objects that evoke three things in people: feelings, care and the desire to own them for a lifetime.“ (The Laws of Simplicity, John Maeda, 2006) I explored the material culture of Japan – a country in which, although it is modern, highly industrialised and mechanised, traditional craftsmanship and the processing of local materials still exist and have a high value. During the trip, I visited artisans and studios and conducted interviews to learn as much as I could about Aichaku and how it can be created consciously.