An Artisan is an artist, a person skilled in an applied art and one who’s work is consistently of high quality. The term was coined in the mid-16th century and has manifested in so many diverse ways but an evident passion runs through an Artisan, a passion that resounds strongly with us.
Shokunin is a Japanese word for ‘Artisan’, which also implies a pride in one's own work. We were drawn to a paragraph in the 1998 publication “Japanese Woodworking Tools: Their Tradition, Spirit, and Use”, author Toshio Odate and Japanese woodworking legend explains that a simple definition of the Shokunin cannot express the deeper meaning of the word.
In the words of Toshio Odate:
“The Japanese word Shokunin is defined by dictionaries as ‘Artisan’, but such a literal description does not fully express the deeper meaning. The Japanese apprentice is taught that Shokunin means not only having technical skills, but also implies an attitude and social consciousness. The Shokunin has a social obligation to work his/her best for the general welfare of the people. This obligation is both spiritual and material, in that no matter what it is, the Shokunin’s responsibility is to fulfil the requirement.”
Shokunin is the practice of doing something carefully and beautifully, to the best of your ability, and the personal joy derived from it. It is also about the continual quest for improvement and perfection, more specifically, the mastery of one’s profession.
With these resilient principles, we chose ‘Artisan’ as our forename as it reflects our passion for Architecture and it’s the way that we aspire to be. It gives us confidence that our resolutions today and devotion over a lifetime continues to evolve with the contribution of future generations.