Hello, My name is Iacopo Torrini: I am an Italian architect living in Japan since 1998. I have a great passion for traditional Japanese architecture and I worked for 3 years for a well-known architectural office involved in the restoration of heritage buildings in the Kansai area. I tried to get involved as much as possible in site management and I got the opportunity to learn directly from skilled craftsmen: carpenters, furniture makers, plasterers, thatched roof builders, and so on. Needless to say, this experience changed my life: be surrounded by natural materials is such a beautiful experience that I wanted to transmit it to my fellow foreigners who have the taste to appreciate it. As many acquaintances asked me about natural Japanese products, I began exporting hinoki tubs in the year 2003. As I am writing this in January 2021, in this 17 years we have exported more than 600 bathtubs to 48 countries worldwide … and counting!
Our tubs are produced with hinoki wood from the Kiso Valley (Nagano pref. – central Japan). We purchase the material and order the manufacture directly to craftsmen I have known for years. By doing so we can offer low cost and high quality for the following reasons:
no risk, low stock and low runinng expenses
constant price comparison of different craftsmen and lumberyards
third party quality check
The manufacture takes place three small ateliers in Chiba prefecture, near Tokyo. Our warehouse in Maihama (Tokyo) is conveniently located 20min. from Tokyo port and 40min. from Narita airport.
My main business is a first class registered architect design office called “studiododici“. We started to export bathtubs in the year 2003.
Since february 2009, Japanese wooden bathtub manufacture and export is handled thru BARTOK DESIGN JAPAN Co. This company is incorporated in Japan as a “kabushiki gaisya” (stock company):
Company president: Iacopo Torrini
Number of employees: 3
Social capital: 1,000,000 yen (about 10,000 US$)
Export value of hinoki products in 2016: 400,000 US$
Address: 3-6-2 Kitano-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Japan 650-0002
tel (+81)-90-820-512-00 • fax (+81)-78-262-7151
mail: japan *at* bartokdesign.com
WHY IS THE BUSINESS NAMED BARTOK DESIGN?
Whenever we create, develop, distribute Italian made products in Japan or Japanese products all over the world, we are often asked this question.
Why Bartok? Isn`t this a Hungarian name? Does your business have some relation with Bela Bartok (the famous music composer and director)?
Well, yes, I like Bela Bartok.
Of course, I had known him from before, but I started to listen and understand his music when I was living in NY. The encounter with Bartok was actually a fateful one: once, in the east village I bought a CD in a second-hand shop and when I got home, inside the box there was also Bartok`s Dance Suite…
I like Bartok because he masterfully combines modernity and experimentation with traditional and ethnic roots. Given I am attracted both by modernity and tradition I thought Bartok showed a viable “third way”.
Have you ever thought about that?
Technology always pushes us forward, even if we end up forgetting the reason we rush so much!
On the other hand, if we worship the past, we end up stuffed, living in a museum…
With some common sense, we can pursue the best of both sides. Don`t you think so?
Sometimes the most difficult problems have an extremely simple solution. This is a beautiful paradox of nature.
As a designer, in my work, I try to seek inspiration from nature. Think of a flower, a drop of water, a galaxy: perfect designs like we can find in nature are at the same time simple and complex. My quest as a designer is to express this “simple complexity”, let`s call it synthesis. Designing a nice shape can be a superficial exercise: I wanted to design sensations, feelings, perfumes, sounds.
So, back to Bartok design: when I first started my own company and had to think of a name, to better express my design mission I decided to make use of a Synesthesia .
Can you hear a color? I am sure you can… if not… try to listen with more attention! Designing what you cannot see is already quite of a challenge: anyway to give a broader scope to my enterprise, I built in “Bartok”, a word at the same time soft and hard, difficult to remember and difficult to forget.
Bartok design Co. is meant to be a point of synthesis and connection between different realities. While a “compromise” might imply a greish simplification, “synthesis” enriches both parties and creates a even more harmonious plurality.
Synthesis should not be intended as a static “point of arrival”, but rather a dynamic interaction, a challenging bridge between different worlds, cultures, materials.
I am sure that Bela Bartok was operating with a similar set of mind and hope he is looking with a benevolent eye at my effort…
Bartok design Japan Co.