The red cedar bench tells 10 years’ worth of stories. The utilitarian seat was among the first pieces created by Ishinomaki Laboratory, a DIY furniture project founded by architect Keiji Ashizawa to empower locals in disaster-hit northeast Japan in the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami.

For much of the past decade, through sunshine and snow, the bench — its solid simplicity and functional lines designed by Taiji Fujimori — has sat outside Ishinomaki Laboratory’s workshop in Miyagi Prefecture, providing a welcome resting place for staff.

And now, the bench, organically grained and dark gray from the passing of time, is one of countless items on display at a new Tokyo exhibition celebrating a decade of Ishinomaki Laboratory, charting the project’s dynamic evolution from a local public workshop to a respected global design brand, one still firmly rooted in the goal of social impact.