Sadly, 2024 in Japan began with disaster. The major New Year’s Day earthquake severely disrupted daily life on Ishikawa Prefecture’s Noto Peninsula and crippled the area’s infrastructure. Charities and fundraising platforms were swift to respond, while other shows of support, including business contributions, have begun to appear.

This month, On: Design looks at different ways craftspeople can provide relief.

Since the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, professor Keisuke Kitagawa of the Nagoya Institute of Technology, in collaboration with Lifull ArchiTech, has been developing and improving the Instant House, an inflatable, weather-resistant shelter designed to serve as a temporary home. On Jan. 12, Kitagawa installed three of the igloo-shaped shelters outside Wajima Junior High School, along with another Lifull ArchiTech innovation — corrugated cardboard Instant Houses, which were constructed inside the school’s gymnasium.