Although Japanese leatherworking predates the Edo Period (1603-1868), it’s not high on the list of the made-in-Japan crafts known worldwide. Nevertheless, despite the lack of star power, the nation still boasts major hubs of leather manufacturing, predominantly in Hyogo Prefecture and Tokyo, most of which produce high-end items for the fashion and interior industries. On: Design takes a look at three products that debuted last month at the Designart festival and rethink leather in contemporary design.

The most unusual of this month’s trio is Tokyo-based design unit M&T’s lineup of desk organizers and trinket trays, each a three-dimensional sculptural work that would be impossible to make from conventional sheets of leather.

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