The “Tsubame-Sanjo Factory Museum” exhibition organized by the “Tsubame-Sanjo Factory Festival” committee in 2021 received the Grand Prix of “Red Dot Design Award 2022,” the highest award in the Brand & Communication Design category. This award is considered one of the world’s three major design competitions. The award ceremony was held in Berlin, Germany in October 2022. The mayor of Sanjo-city, Ryo Takizawa, the board chairman of Tsubamesanjo Regional Industries Promotion Center which co-sponsored the “Tsubame-Sanjo Factory Festival” and the organizing committee members attended. It is the first time in Japan that a project involving the government awarded the Grand Prix.
Established in Germany in 1955, the Red Dot Design Award is one of the world’s largest design competitions. Once a year, entries are judged by international design experts based on nine criteria such as innovation, functionality, ergonomics, ecology and durability. The Grand Prix is an award given to a particularly outstanding work among the works selected for the “Best of the Best,” the highest award in the category. This year, six out of over 9,000 entries from about 50 countries were selected for the Grand Prix. Upon giving this award, the Red Dot Design Award 2022 commented on its official Instagram, “‘Tsubame-Sanjo Factory Museum’ was a unique temporary exhibition in a disused factory and was dedicated to the history and culture of the local metal processing industry. The atmosphere it creates with the way it is staged, with the perfect interplay of location, exhibits, projections, videos, graphics, sound and light is so intense that it is impossible to resist.”
The award-winning exhibition “Tsubame-Sanjo Factory Museum” was set in a former factory site with an area of more than 2,000 square meters and a ceiling height of more than 6 meters, where grinding machines were manufactured. It introduced high quality products made by skillful artisans from Tsubame-Sanjo, the history and culture of the region and the progression of “Tsubame-Sanjo Factory Festival.” The exhibition design took advantage of the large-scale factory by placing a curved screen in the center that doubles as a bench that overlooks the entire exhibition space. Metal containers were used in factories as display fixtures, creating a sophisticated ambience that harmonizes with the atmosphere of the factory. The used materials were reused in local factories after the exhibition ended as part of a conscious effort to reduce waste.
“Tsubame-Sanjo Factory Festival” will be held continuously and will be presented in a new form from next year onwards. Continue to pay attention to the power of craftsmanship that the region transmits.
■ Award information
Red Dot Design Award 2022, Brand & Communication Design, Grand Prix
Title: Tsubame-Sanjo Factory Museum
Venue: 1-1-18, Nishiosaki, Sanjo-city, Niigata Prefecture (Former factory of Nomizu Machine MFG)
Dates: November 5 to 21, 2021 *Expired
Sponsor: Tsubame-Sanjo Factory Festival committee
Chairperson: Ritsu Yamada (Gyokusendo)
Creative Direction: Yu Yamada (method)
Design & Art Direction: Hirokazu Kobayashi, Haruna Yamada (SPREAD)
Photography & Video: Ooki Jingu, Kazuhiro Kodaira
Projection: Tomoya Kishimoto
Editing & Text: Yoshinao Yamada
Installation: Takumi Saito (SPACE DESIGN TAKUMI）/ Kazuya Saito (Sutoka)
Project Management: Hirohisa Yokoyama (side) / Sayaka Sakai (method)
PR: Miki Koike (HOW INC)
“Tsubame-Sanjo Factory Festival” Website: