Yoshihisa Tanaka Transforms Waste Into Shoeboxes for T-HOUSE New Balance

New Balance‘s conceptual T-HOUSE shop in Tokyo often hosts the latest sneaker drops from its Tokyo Design Studio imprint, but it’s also set up to showcase artworks from like-minded creatives. TDS’ latest exhibition appropriately focuses on New Balance design cues, reimagined through the eco-conscious lens of Nerhol co-founder Yoshihisa Tanaka.

Tanaka is best known as a graphic designer but also devotes himself to the exploration of upcycled materials, transforming waste into new textiles. This mentality informs “Cooperative Research Vol.01,” a showcase of his artistic cues applied to the humble New Balance shoebox. TDS enlisted the artist to reimagine the boxes so as to demonstrate the possibilities of creating low-impact packaging, which Tanaka accomplished through a traditional Japanese technique called Tamesuki.

Here, a hands-on process creates the textural washi paper historically used by the Japanese for lampshades, wall coverings and even wood engraving. This textile was formed by crushing paper scraps and other garbage into the raw paper mixture that was eventually shaped into the boxes seen above. Each boasts unique color and blemishes and are all topped off with New Balance’s recognizable branding to complete the collaborative motif. Gottingham, the photographer who snapped the completed boxes, will also display work during the “Cooperative Research Vol.01” event.

Visit T-HOUSE New Balance from November 20 onwards to peruse “Cooperative Research Vol.01” and even pick up a copy of NOT FAR #02, the second issue of the store’s free magazine that features exclusive work from Tanaka.

Elsewhere in Japan, COSTS and FDMTL gave New Balance’s timeless 2002R an indigo-dyed remix.

T-HOUSE New Balance
3 Chome-9-2 Nihonbashihamacho
Chuo City, Tokyo 103-0007
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