Wooden music boxes designed for the Isetan department store’s ‘bell-orgel collection’ project, launched with the cooperation of composer Sakamoto Ryuichi’s moretrees initiative, which promotes the protection of forests as absorbers of CO2. We designed the music box, which was then decorated by 57 different designers and design groups. The music boxes are made of Japanese cypress (hinoki) harvested as part of sustainable forest management practices. As a familiar form, the bell shape also invites visitors to touch the music box and enjoy the feel of the wood surface. We were also aware that the combination of form and material would soften the metallic sound of the chimes. The music box comes in three varieties: a hand bell, a standing bell and a hanging bell. The hand bell is designed to stop playing its melody when laid on its side. Turning the bell on the standing bell winds the music box mechanism, making it play. In both music boxes, the ‘bell’ itself functions as a switch, making a connection to the traditional way of ringing bells.

music box
for Isetan
Hiroshi Iwasaki