(THISIS)SHIZEN® ディスイズシゼン

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齊藤太一、 松江大輔

Groundscape Designer of ATELIER DAISHIZEN


New value, new nature


(THISIS)SHIZENのディレクターとして、植物を中心にしながらまったく新しい組み合わせやアプローチでこれまでにない場所を作り上げたATELIER DAISHIZENの齊藤太一さんと、同店で植物と陶芸のディレクションを行う松江大輔さん。(THISIS)SHIZENというダイレクトなネーミングにもあるように、この場所から発信する自然、そしてその価値とはなんだろうか。二人の意識や言葉から、私たち人間が今この時代に考えるべきさまざまな物事が紐解かれていきます。

Taichi Saito, the founder of ATELIER DAISHIZEN ー who is the director of (THISIS)SHIZEN, have created a place with a completely new combination and approach while specializing on plants, along with Daisuke Matsue, a director of plants and ceramics. Regarding the title "(THISIS)SHIZEN", we questioned what will they express about nature and its value from this place. From their consciousness and words, we can unravel various things that human beings need to think about in today's world.

Saito: In 2020, it will be 10 years since the opening of our first horticultural shop, BIOTOP NURSERIES, in Shirokanedai, Tokyo. At the time, a plant-only store was very rare, and the idea of linking it to fashion was a revolutionary experiment, but over the past ten years, I feel that living with plants has become a standard part of our lifestyle. This year, after 10 years, I had the opportunity to open a new shop in Kyoto, and as I thought radically about how this shop would be different from any other shop I had ever worked on that didn't only focus on plants, I came up with the theme of "nature". I came up with the name "This is Shizen" because I wanted to make it a place where you can feel the beauty of nature, the blessings of nature, and organic nature. Just as living with plants has become the standard in 10 years, I wanted to create a new culture from this place.

— The concept of this project, "Nature, Craft, Art", was to create a shop that offers the blessings of nature in Japan as well as food and other tangible products created by human hands... and initially, this concept is based on the philosophy of "ATELIER DAISHIZEN", where two of you working as landscapers, is that right?


The philosophy of "ATELIER DAISHIZEN" that underlies (THISIS)SHIZEN

Matsue: The elements of nature are earth, water, wind, mountains, rivers, sea, earth, and greenery.... and the natural environment in which these elements are composed is also changing moment by moment through a variety of external factors. In the same way, I think it is natural for human values and our sense of distance from nature to keep changing. Therefore, I think that a view of nature that respects tradition while enhancing its value through new values and hybrids with new nature will drive us forward into future. On the one hand, there are some things that are completely man-made, but feel more natural than nature in our modern life. In this way, our respect for the old and our curiosity and research for the new is what gives rise to our idea of modern garden making. This is the philosophy of ATELIER DAISHIZEN and the basis of the concept of (THISIS)SHIZEN.

— (THISIS)SHIZEN is a truly diverse collection of content in food, design, ceramics, art, and space creation. How did people involved in the process of making this shop?


From known to unknown

Saito: As soon as I decided to create a shop called (THISIS)SHIZEN, I asked Kohei Nawa to design this space. This is the first time we collaborate together. Since we are building a new shop, we wanted to work with someone who could make this space something completely new and unimaginable. Mr.Nawa was interested in our project and agreed to join us right away. At that time, I only had a rough structure of plants, sake, and ceramics, but as Mr.Nawa mentions, if we take nature as the earth's ecosystem and apply the relationship between producers, decomposers, and consumers to the structure of (THISIS)SHIZEN, then we have much clearer logic throughout the various genres of things gathered in this shop. Plants the producers, the pottery made from the soil, sake made by the decomposers, and the humans who consume them. This is what we think nature is, in other words, (THISIS)SHIZEN.

Matsue: Our offer to Mr. Nawa and other people was like asking them to play freely with the theme of nature using this box ー (THISIS)SHIZEN. And through various opportunities, people in Kyoto and Shiga naturally gathered together. What they all have in common is that while they value history and traditions, they all want to do something new and interesting on their own in this modern era. The stereotype of "nature" and "Kyoto" may be particularly strong. For example, when people think of "Japanese garden", many people think of stones, moss, lanterns and bonsai. So we put a moss ball with a very large tree inside the shop. Plants don't necessarily have to be potted, and if you put a moss ball in the space, that's where the garden becomes. At (THISIS)SHIZEN, I would like to dispel any stereotypical ideas, and sell from a new perspective, rather than just selling stuff.

Photography by Ko Tsuchiya

— As the ATELIER DAISHIZEN, I think that your attention to plants is something that particularly needs to be paid attention to. What kind of plants will gather in (THISIS)SHIZEN? And how will it change in the future?


Aiming to create a culture that will last hundred of years

Matsue: Like Nawa's meteorite object placed in the center of the store, the plants we choose are based on the concepts of the past, the present, and the future. There is a wide variety of Japanese and Western plants, ornamental plants and cacti. Dixonia, an ancient fern with roots dating back more than 300 million years, will also be included, as well as a yew tree over five meters high, which will be used as a symbolic tree and turned into a moss ball in the store. It's probably the biggest moss ball in Japan haha.

Saito: (THISIS)SHIZEN is about a gardener and a teahouse, but there are no tables, seats or shelves. There are very few elements that supposed to be provided in the store. But, what is the definition of store? You can serve food and drink without a table, and you can create a garden without a tree. Just as the green life has spread in different ways, I would like to expand the field even further and create opportunities for new ways of thinking and enjoying nature from here. The world continues to change day by day, with things we take for granted no longer being the norm, but I would like to make sure that the style we transmit at (THISIS)SHIZEN becomes the next standard and is firmly established as a valuable culture.


Taichi Saito
Groundscape Designer /
Director of (THISIS)SHIZEN. Representative of DAISHIZEN, which operates SOLSO, SOLSO FARM, etc. He is involved in various collaborations with commercial facilities and architects, through designing landscape and indoor green. In 2018, celebrating the 20th anniversary in his career, he has started a new career as a landscaper and a farmer, and is expanding the field of activities. The photo is his first work as a landscaper and is his home studio in Tokyo.
Daisuke Matsue
Groundscape Designer /
Plants and ceramic director of (THISIS)SHIZEN. Representative of IRODORIMIDORI, which designs landscape and indoor green based in Kansai. From 2020, he has started a new career as a ceramist from production, design, construction, etc. to create a space full of greenery, and is expanding the field of expression.



    Groundscape Designer of ATELIER DAISHIZEN

    New value, new nature


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