The Oda Design Laboratory is a global design museum and furniture research center in partnership with furniture makers in Higashikawa Township in Hokkaido, Japan. The Laboratory is founded on the extensive Oda Collection of chairs, a generous gift from Mr. Noritsugu Oda.
In the humanistic spirit of Higashikawa, the Oda Design Laboratory aims to create an awareness of the connectivity between many scales, demonstrating the impact and consequences of design and its processes. The main local domestic typology is a house with a gable design accompanied by large greenhouses. Due to the cold climate, many local lumber-related factories have double-skinned sheds with translucent outter cladding to benefit from solar heat gain. Inspired by local domestic and industrial typologies, Oda Design Laboratory mediates between an industrial shed with saw-tooth skylights and an aggregation of small houses on the hill of the village, the rice fields, and the greenhouses.
The museum is designed to be built with local wood and materials generated from the region, connecting the design to earlier research on forest ecology and bioeconomy centers. As the first of its kind in Japan, the Oda Design Laboratory promotes the power of design to the wider public through the lens of furniture making and inspires excellence in future designs through its collection’s legacy, cementing Asahikawa’s role as a global center for furniture design.