Less, Light, LocalThe NORI Project exploring the future of seaweed through ARAKAWA GRIP technology

NORI fades and is incinerated for reasons such as climate change


As the world’s largest consumer of seaweed, Japan has a rich history of seaweed processing technologies that produce a wide variety of edible seaweeds. Among these, ITA NORI, an edible seaweed sheet used for sushi and rice balls is a unique processed product with a deep connection to traditional Japanese craftsmanship. It is said to have been invented during the Edo period, and was derived from the Japanese handmade paper-making technique. This product demonstrates the wisdom of our ancestors, who conserved limited resources without waste and appreciated the gustatory qualities of this product. However, in recent years, rising water temperatures due to climate change and changes in ocean currents and ecosystems have led to numerous seaweeds growing wilted and lacking in nutrients. Many of these seaweeds are not edible for human consumption and commercial use, leading to their combustion and wastage.


Exploring the new value of the discarded / non-edible ITA NORI


‘Less, Light, Local’ is a research project and series of installations and lights that seek to give new value to this discarded / non-edible ITA NORI. They use the power of ARAKAWA GRIP technology, to bring out the two qualities of ITA NORI, lightness and sustainability. Just as ITA NORI originated from Japanese traditional craft, these series draw their inspiration from those handcrafted techniques, using local materials and techniques to create a simple design. It not only explores the future of products but also presents new ways of using ITA NORI as a new material, which is attracting interest from around the world as seaweed is a material deeply rooted in Japanese culture.

「Less, Light, Local」は、食用としては使えない板海苔の新たな価値を追求するリサーチプロジェクトであり、インスタレーションと照明のシリーズです。シート状だから丈夫で軽く、サステイナブルでもある海苔の良さを、荒川技研工業のワイヤーシステム「ARAKAWA GRIP」の力で引き出しています。板海苔が工芸から派生したように、本作品もまた工芸のあり方に学び、土着の素材と技術を使って、シンプルに構成。これからのプロダクトのあり方を模索するとともに、海藻大国日本から、新素材として世界の注目を集める海藻の新たな活用方法を発信します。

Masayuki Hayashi
  • Less, Light, Local