Craft Lab by YKK
“Craft Lab by YKK” in Akihabara is a community and event facility run by the zipper and button manufacturer, YKK. Their concept is to spread charm of button and zipper through handcraft. They hold handcraft workshops and events at all times.
The 1st floor is a workshop space where visitors can try handcraft. There are wide range of events from the workshops where external instructors teach handcraft, to the mini-workshops that you can join without reservation. Making small zippered pouch, stick together pouch, zipper neck strap and zipper strap with colorful zippers would be fun to try for parents and children.
The 2nd floor is an exhibition space where you can learn about function of zipper and its history. There are high-performance zippers such as airtight/watertight zipper used for space suit and the drain of Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, and fireproof zipper made of fire-retardant thread used for fireman uniform and rocket. They are introduced in this exhibition.
On the 3rd floor, “Creative Lounge” offers uniquely collected information of zipper and buttons to creators and professionals. This lounge changes exhibits once or twice a year. The current special exhibition of denim is showing until March.
There are many workshops where visitors can not only enjoy handcrafting, but also know the charm of zipper and button that we generally overlook. At “Craft Lab by YKK,” adults can be a kid again and enjoy handcraft.
Jan 2019 Text: Ryoko Kuraishi Photo: Yasuo Yamaguchi