SHIMADZU Excellence in Science SHIMADZU Excellence in Science SHIMADZU Excellence in Science SHIMADZU Excellence in Science


DROPCITY | 12 - 21 April 2024
Tunnel 44 Via Sammartini, 20125 Milano

12, 6PM - 9PM
13,14, 1PM - 6PM
15-21, 11AM - 7PM


From minerals, paints were born, and wheat transformed into bread.

Throughout history, humanity has expanded the possibilities of materials by crushing solids into powder. Powdering is one of humanity’s most primitive processing methods. Turning materials into powder not only makes them more manageable and versatile but also allows us to encounter expressions and behaviors that were never visible in their solid state.

WONDER POWDER is a research project by Shimadzu Corporation and the design studio we+, driven by the potential of powder. Launched in 2022, this project involves not only observing the movement of powdered various materials underwater but also scientifically analyzing them using Shimadzu Corporation’s analytical instruments. Through a dual approach of sensory and logical exploration, the project seeks to understand the beauty of powder. In this exhibition, we showcase some research findings and installations as part of the project, attempting to capture “beauty” from a new perspective.



we+ is a contemporary design studio founded in 2013 by Toshiya Hayashi and Hokuto Ando, that gives form to new perspectives and values using methods based on research and experimentation.

The studio explores the possibilities of alternative design that establishes a close coexistence with the natural and social environment around us, and incorporates a diversity of values that are often forgotten in today's society, where convenience and rationality are sought. Members with diverse backgrounds and skills: designers, engineers, researchers and writers, come together to present self-initiated projects that have emerged from their daily research, both in Japan and abroad. With the knowledge gained from these projects, they participate in a wide range of corporate and organizational projects, including R&D, installations as commissioned works, branding, product development, spatial design and art direction.

Received many awards, including Dezeen Awards 2022 / Emerging Design Studio of the Year Public Vote, FRAME Awards 2023 / Furniture of the year, Wallpaper* Design Awards 2022 / Best Elements of Surprise, EDIDA 2019 / Young Designer of the Year Nominee, KUKAN DESIGN AWARD 2020 / Gold Prize. The work is in the collection of Vitra Design Museum, Germany.

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Shimadzu Design

Shimadzu Design is a department within Shimadzu Corporation engaged in a broad range of design activities, including the external appearance, UI, communication, research, evaluation, and more. Since the establishment of the Shimadzu Corporation Design Department in 1958, the department has been guided by the founder’s belief in craftsmanship: “If it benefits even just one person or if it’s something that doesn’t exist in the world, try doing it if it contributes to people.” This principle forms the foundation for their design activities.

In this project, Shimadzu Design utilizes the analytical measurement technologies of Shimadzu Corporation, which have primarily been applied in the fields of healthcare, life sciences, and the environment. They utilize these technologies as a starting point to understand phenomena that are perceived as beautiful. Through the creation of this installation, they are exploring new possibilities for analytical measurement technologies.

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ビンの写真 ビンの写真


Artistic Research

We employ our unique research method, "Artistic Research", which combines a “Sensory Approach” involving experimentation and fieldwork while valuing intuition and subjectivity, with a “Logical Approach” involving an accumulation of information and data to attain an objective viewpoint on the subject of study.
Going back and forth between these two approaches, deepens the understanding of the subject and results in outputs like installations, based on criteria such as evoking empathy or aesthetic appeal.

Expanding the possibilities of “Analytical Measurement Technologies”

By utilizing Shimadzu Corporation's analytical measurement instruments to scientifically elucidate the composition, size, and shape of particles, we aim to further enhance the "Logical Approach" in Artistic Research. Striving to maximize the spectrum between sensibility and logic, we explore new possibilities in analysis, leveraging Shimadzu's expertise in analytical measurement to support and elucidate the realm of sensibility. Viewing the analysis and its results conducted in this initiative as the starting point for unraveling beauty, we seek to pursue the further potential of analytical measurement technology, drawing insights from the discussions and feedback obtained from this exhibition.

& Process

Crushing various materials, from natural minerals to artificial objects, into powder and observing the beauty of their behavior in water, we scientifically elucidate the particle size and shape using analytical measurement instruments from Shimadzu Corporation. Through the synergistic effects of two-way approach of both sensibility and logic, we deepen the understanding of the object and sublimate it into an output.



Dropcity is a new centre for Architecture and Design that will be developed along Via Sammartini in Milan. Located inside the Magazzini Raccordati in the Central Station, this project is an initiative conceived by architect Andrea Caputo back in 2018 with the aim of establishing a place for people to meet and discuss architecture, design and the contemporary city.

Tunnel 44 Via Sammartini, 20125 Milano


Organizer: SHIMADZU CORPORATION Research & Design: Hokuto Ando, Toshiya Hayashi, Peach / Yohei Aoki, Eri Sekiguchi, Kihiro Inoue, Qihua Huang (we+)
Ryo Takegawa, Tomoya Sugie, Shinya Hasebe (Shimadzu Design)
Material Analysis: Shimadzu Techno-Research, Inc. Technical Design: Satoru Kusakabe Engineering: Shunji Sato Graphic Design: Tatsuro Shoji Photo: Masayuki Hayashi Movie: Kenichi Murase Coordination: Yukiko Kanamori, Hiroko Goda PR: HOW INC. Support: Toyo Aluminium K.K., HAKUTEN