Design Dialogue

Global Lifestyle Design – Story of “Centennial Collection”


Staunton 7/F Hub PMQ S710-711


Niigata Industrial Creation Organization (NICO)

During deTour 2016, Good Design Store at PMQ will hold the exhibition “Centennial Collection” from Niigata, Japan, plus a talk by Mr. Masaki Nakamura, General Manager of “Centennial Collection”, and Mr. Tomoyuki Kobayashi, Chairman of SUWADA Blacksmith Works. Inc. “Centennial Collection” is an international brand-building project that manufacturers in the Niigata prefecture and the Niigata Industrial Creation Organization (NICO) collaborate to develop a new collection each year. Drawing on a century of heritage, this year the Collection presents lifestyle tools for the next generation.

Unlike tool that are mass-produced for mass-consumption, the tools in this Collection are all limited editions designed for longevity and to suit the needs of each individual. The project won the Grand-prix of Design for Asia Awards in 2006, presented by the Hong Kong Design Centre. This exhibition commemorates the 10th anniversary of winning the award.


 NAKAMURA Masaki (General Manager, Hyakunen-Monogatari)

 KOBAYASHI Tomoyuki (The third Generation successor and Chairman, SUWADA Blacksmith Works. Inc.)

Conducted in English

Registration deadline: 27 Nov 2016 (Limited seats, first come first served.)

RSVP: (with your name, e-mail address and number of attendees)


Tomoyuki Kobayashi is the third Generation successor and Chairman of SUWADA Blacksmith Works. Inc.

Nail clippers are used throughout one’s life. SUWADA Blacksmith Works, Inc. uses unmatched high forging skills to create the highest quality nail clippers. Mr. Kobayashi has made SUWADA into an international brand by promoting the value of his unique handmade products.

Mr. Kobayashi was born in Sanjo City, Niigata Prefecture. As a child he helped out at his family smithery established by his grandfather. When the young Tomoyuki was able to count to ten, he put finished products in bags. In elementary school, he annealed steel wires to make springs, and in his teens he had already learnt all the manufacturing processes.

Mr. Kobayashi went to school in Tokyo and had started his own company there by the age of 30. However, his father’s company, SUWADA Blacksmith Works, Inc., fell in debt and Mr. Kobayashi became the company’s president in 1997 to rebuild it. He reformed the old-fashioned labour conditions and also improved the management of the company. Applying the blade-fitting techniques developed since the company’s establishment, SUWADA products gradually became well-known for their highly functional designs as they received Good Design Awards.