Japanese Wood Joints


Location:Boston, USA By:Luisa Brando
Class by:
Toshiko Mori at 
Harvard GSD

This was the project in Toshiko Moris class at GSD, where we had conversions on materiality and memory. We each picked one material to test, play and design with. I was interested in Wood as a material that is planted. I leap to Japanese woodworking—in particular joint making because it involves a tangible beauty as the quality of the piece is tested through time as well as the intangible wisdom that the process entails. I´m interested in understanding how they have reacted to the tension between the maintenance of ancestral traditions and innovation--One that is not only demanded by the new markets, but also by the creative process of craft production. 

Through the making of this book (and Tsujitsu joints) I want to explore the intimate connection between hand and head. Knowledge is gained in the hand through touch and movement. 

Skills that begin as bodily practices, even the most abstract. “Craftsmanship” as a way of working that can anchor a material reality, a technical understanding that develops through the power of problem solving and a push for imagination. To learn from resistance and ambiguity as constructive experience. The hand construction methods, the memory of the process, and the relation between nature and the object. To understand the value of working with and from nature, and the importance of understanding process a space for imagination. To question the idea of efficiency in construction materials in what innovation means. To explore the importance of the knowledge and skill as part of the innovation, for I believe the permanence as the efficiency of the construction (the engineering method) can be more important than the materials themselves. Although Handwork will never match the precision of the machine, the interest lies in the work of making art that can never be duplicated.