Makiko Shinoda

The landscape of modern society finds us increasingly
disconnected from a rich sensory experience.
Smells, sounds, colours and textures are standardized, categorized and controlled in urban life; thereby eliminating all the subtle nuancess and richness that exist in Nature. For the modern child, this leads to a lack of imagination, communication, and spatial perception.

– How can we engage and stimulate our senses in our daily lives?
My goal in design is to create sensory experiences which aim to develop a healthy nervous system through the stimulation of the brain.

For Toegepast 17, I would like to make toy/space for children to stimulate their senses.

Here is my previous project as example :

Shapemaker and Facemaker from Millergoodman


One of my favourite toy from Millergoodman.

Simple creativity is forever…

The Blobterre by Matali Crasset


From October 1st 2011, the designer Matali Crasset invests the Children’s Gallery of the Centre Pompidou with the ‘Blobterre of Matali’, a radical new proposal in the form of an artificial garden dedicated to the exploration, creation and imagination .
Matali Crasset questions daily objects and more, imagine scenarios of life.
It looks at different ways of living, those of adults and children, studies
the workings of nature, as well as traditional techniques versus new technologies.

Her designs offer new gestures for everyday life and make it more creative, rewarding the small domestic rituals.

More details

Research for children activity, Science center Nemo in Amsterdam


Science center “NEMO” is one of the famous educational playground in the Netherlands.

Children are able to learn Sciences with physical activity and fun.

Though, I must say the aesthetic part of equipment is not my favourite, it is very a well-made playground to give variety of experiences in the different aspects.

I was fascinated to observe children’s reaction.

“See what I’m saying” by Lawrence D. Rosenblum

When you experience feeling good, it is very difficult to define why.

“That the sense of touch dwells in that of sight, while that of smell exists in that of hearing”. Kenya Hara

Maybe you smelled your favourite smell, which may actually be a combination of smell and colour you experienced. Or you simply hear the sounds of opening the wine bottle (if you are found of wine).Understanding body systems, cognitive sciences, and the physical sense  are helpful to design effective sensory experience.This is a book wrote by Psychology Professor Lawrence Rosenblum of University of California Riverside, USA.He introduces several physical research examples to understand how our sensory entanglements influence in our daily lives.

(ex : Why we have 2 holes in the nose and what can happen when you smell from only a hole…)

“Be Linen” by Benoit MILLOT


I have been searching for natural materials for this project. There are millions, millions of materials existing in the world (including both natural & artificial materials). Their potentials are enormous and very exciting. However, for my projects, I want to use natural materials / honest materials which can be provided by the local industry.

To  limit transportation energy

To re-discover extraordinary effect(s) of ordinary materials

To introduce our childhood experience to new generations

Have you ever think that the new generations may one day think milk comes from a package and not a cow ?

I think linen may be able to help my idea. It has a deep history behind so I don’t know I can handle, but we’ll see..

“Tegu” Magnetic wooden block made in Honduras


After visiting Day Care and several families to research on children’s activity, I face a question :

Do we actually need to make children products ?

Since any of the things which are existing have the potential to be toys / friends for them.

“Tegu” might be one of the answer for the question. The project started from 2006 and started to be sold through the world in 2011. Chris Haughey and Will Haughey (founders of “Tegu”) started from an innocent, curiosity-driven question :

“Could we create a for-profit company based in Honduras that would foster a positive social impact through its business?”

Seeking an answer to the question sparked the idea that became Tegu—a toy business founded to address unemployment, neglected natural and human resources, and the need for entrepreneurship in Honduras. The idea of the toy itself came from Germany traditional wooden toys. They are connecting business, social impact  and help education system and environment.

Tegu website

Research for children activity 2


I found interesting activities during the children observation. Children doesn’t like fake object. They like to have the objects same as parents/adults have. One of the parents made a ceramic bowl which is same material and shape but smaller for their children. She was very happy to use it more than children’s plastic cups. I could imagine she will be able to use it after she became adult.

I suddenly remembered that I was very proud of myself when I became allowed to use the same tableware as my parent.

Learn for life” Editors S.Ehmans, S.Borges, R Klanten 

Published by Die Gestalten Verlag GmbH & Co. KG


About the book

How well we learn is directly linked to where we learn. Because the digital age has changed the way we gather knowledge dramatically, places where we learn now look and feel very differently than they did just a decade earlier. Today, the spaces in which our lifelong path of learning takes place have evolved to accommodate our expanding educational needs. These new spaces promote learning by providing inspiration and helpful tools as well as facilitating opportunities for productive cooperation and collaboration.

A diverse collection of inspiring architecture, Learn for Life showcases spaces that support progressive and collaborative models for acquiring knowledge. In addition to new interpretations of traditional places for learning including kindergartens, schools, universities, libraries, and educational centers, the book also features commercial buildings whose architectural innovations redefine our understanding of what it means to develop professionally in offices, corporate headquarters, conference rooms, convention centers, and laboratories. Also included are more experimental projects including flexible, informal, and temporary installations and exhibitions that offer further perspectives on the rapidly evolving topic of how and where to best learn in the new millennium.

“Nixjes” By Sylvia Lai & Makiko Shinoda


Today, I would like to introduce another project of mine : “Nixjes” (collaboration with Sylvia Lai).

We met when we were studying Design Academy Eindhoven 6 years ago. After graduate we hardly saw each other due to distance and busy life. So, when we saw each other again, we started to swap a small object which we found in our daily life. One of the gallery owner has been interested in our activity and asked us to make them for the gallery.

“Nixjes” are nothing but may become something from a different perspective.

PERCEPTIBLE CHESS GAME ” production 1 (bee wax) ”


I received 10kg of bee wax from bee wax company : Dipam C.V.

When I opened package the sweet smell crash on my face!

I bought bee wax candle from Dipam in the bio shop for making 1st sample, the result was very good.

They also make workshop for children to make a bee wax candle.

Therefore, I contacted the company in order to make more pieces.

Dipam make candles from 100% beeswax. With this durable commodity we to traditional methods, high quality products. Where possible our raw and packaging materials not harmful to humans and the environment and sustainable manner.
Kaarsenmakerij Dipam C.V. was founded in 1983 as a project to ex-addicts again to take part in society. Perform meaningful work in a somewhat protected environment proved to be a good way to work, social skills and confidence to do so. The craftsmanship and the great diversity of activities lend itself better to simply work to develop more complex and responsible tasks.
Meanwhile Dipam grown into an organization that in the busy season 8-10 people working with clients in 14 (mainly European) countries. We deliver our quality products mainly to wholesalers and retailers in the natural food industry.

Dipam website

                                                      Photograph by Kristof Vrancken

PERCEPTIBLE CHESS GAME ” production 2 (metal)”


This month, I was working for metal chess pieces at Stichting Kunstenaarswerkplaats Beeldenstorm in Eindhoven.

The technique was “Sand casting”, I need to make pieces hollow for stackable and lighter weight that makes quite complicate mould.

I still have to polish the surfaces until mirror finish but already quite happy for the result.

Kunstenaarswerkplaats Beeldenstorm website

“Design To Move “


Today, I found interesting website call “Design To Move”  Design To Move webpage

This project framed by  The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), NIKE, Inc, The International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE) and involved 33 education, healthcare, social service, research organization.

From their research they conclude

“Today’s 10 year olds are the first generation expected to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.

Focusing on kids before the age of 10 could change the trajectory for the next generation.”

They say,

“In many countries, physical activity is disappearing from daily life. It happened in just one or two generations in some countries, and even
sooner in others. Our physical, emotional and economic well-being has become increasingly compromised as a result. The time for action is now.”

Graphic from final report from Design To Move                                                                                                                                                                                             Graphic from Final report of ” Design To Move”

PERCEPTIBLE CHESS GAME ” production 3 (wood)”


To make stackable wooden pieces, I decided to use CNC milling machine at Fablab Amsterdam.

When I interviewed the parents, they hope to find good toy but not too high price. They agreed to spend certain amount of money, if they want to have certain quality of the product. However, it is difficult to find in the market, they said.

A lot of good product for kids are too high price compare to period that can be used for their children.

For this project, I wanted to concern about connection between natural materials and industrial process.

How to design product that can producible certain level of quantity, but also fit into different natural materials production process.

CNC milling machine is able to duplicate a shape of chess piece total 3hours maximum, after the 3d data file setted. (3d date made by Carsten Lemme)

Fablab Amsterdam website

Carsten Lemme website

Research for children activity 3


I would like to introduce a interview from parents on behalf of many common answer from other parents.

After interviewing him in March, I could make sure what I want to do for Toegepast 17.

Q. What kind of toy do you like to give to your son?

 A. I would like to give something that he is playing.

     Umi (children’s name) is interested in switch or drawer which are  not  actual toys. And he play with the box for toy instead of toy itself.

     When I choice product or furniture for him, I would like to take the thing from market or antique, which we think that is nice.

Q. What is important part for you when you choice the toy, product, furniture?

 A. The important point is the toy, product, furniture which can tell us what is important for children.

      For example, I like the chair from “Stokke” which is transform with his growth.

     And, children need a lot of staff more than we think. Therefore, we prefer reasonable price. Good product is good but expensive and there are limited  

    time for use, so financially friendly is important.

Q. What you think about society where your child lives.

 A. I think it is more complicate world than the time when we grew up. We are Japanese and we grow up in Japan but he bone in the Netherlands, and he is 

    live in completely different life style then Dutch majority life style. I think there is more children growing up like his situation.

    The world is changing; there is nothing good and bad for this. However, I want to give him the treasure experience that was treasure experience for me.

Thank you very much for the interview Mr. and Mrs. Oyamada and Umi.

PERCEPTIBLE CHESS GAME ” production 4 (ceramic)”

09, November, 2012

The last natural material for Chess piece, I choose earthenware. The popular materials, through the centuries. It’s used to use material as plants pot.

Beautiful material and strong. Advantage for this material is low shrinkage after bake. Therefore, I’m able to use same model for other material to make plaster mould to make the shape.

“Toegepast 17 Opening”


Photograph by Kristof Vrancken


One comment

  1. Pingback: Playing with senses l'échiquier par Makiko Shinoda | Blog Esprit-Design : tendance Design / Deco

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