“At this visit, I have really experienced your [ed. The Danish] lifestyle and mindset. It is very inspiring and I want to put this essence of Denmark into the design of our furniture”.
These were the words of Yukio Sada, CEO of the Japanese startup company I&C, after a three day visit in Odense. I&C designs furniture and wants to make furniture for disabled and for the growing market of elderly people. November 2017, I&C opened an office in Odense and hired the designer Yukiko Izumi. The task of the office in Odense is to get inspired by the Danish mindset regarding healthcare, design and the Scandinavian way of living and then use this in I&C’s furniture.
Not only I&C is curious of Odense. On their trip to Denmark, they also brought the Japanese TV station, Tokyo TV, which on February 19th, featured a 1-hour long broadcast that informed the Japanese viewers about I&C’s activity in Odense, Odense’s activities within health tech and robotics and the Danish mindset.
I&C and TV Tokyo visited: Danish Technological Institute (DTI), the company Public Intelligence and Odense Municipality’s showroom for health tech solutions, as well as other places. Each visit was centered around tech, innovation and how to design for the growing market of elderly people.
“DTI and Public Intelligence are very professional, and I am quite inspired by the talks we have had here”, Yukio Sada says, and continues: “I actually see that the ecosystem you have here in Odense could also be of use to one or two other development projects, I&C is working on”.
Hygge is trending in Japan
The Danish way of living was also what attracted TV Tokyo to Odense.
“Hygge is going to trend in Japan in 2018”, Yukiko Izumi explains. “This winter, one of the biggest clothing design companies, UNIQLO, named their collection “Hygge””, she continues.
The TV journalist, Tomoyuki Noguchi adds: “The Japanese can learn a lot from what we have experienced during this trip. We can actually have a good time, eat lunch, be relaxed, and at the same time talk business and future collaboration. The Japanese can learn much from that”.
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