An invitation to tackle upcoming challenges of the circular economy while enjoying nature, food, music, and exchange at the ecovillage Santome Konjaku Mura

On February 22, 2023, Loftwork Inc. and FabCafe Global will host the crQlr Summit 2023 JAPAN at ecovillage Santome Konjaku Mura (Miyoshi, Saitama). The event will celebrate the 2022 crQlr Awards ceremony and feature talks from winners and judges.
The crQlr Awards are a global prize that gathers circular economy projects and ideas for designing a circular economy. In its 2022 edition, it attracted 131 projects from companies, organizations, start-ups, designers, and other groups and institutions from 30 countries around the world.

The 2022 jury included Noriko Ishizaka, President of Ishizaka Sangyo, Mitchell van Doojiweerd, Sustainability Manager of the globally renowned DGTL Festival, and Amorpol Huvanandana, co-founder of moreloop. In addition, five members from FabCafe Global joined as judges and selected circular ideas and projects that help improve human life, the natural environment, and the economy.

The crQlr Summit 2023 JAPAN will honor this year’s prize-winning projects and feature insightful talks by the winners and jury members. It will also provide a unique opportunity for mutual learning, networking, and deepening connections with the leaders of the circular economy field that will encourage participants to take bold steps for the future of sustainability.

The event venue, ecovillage Santome Konjaku Mura, is a rehabilitated natural area located within the premises of the Ishizaka Sangyo industrial waste treatment company. At Ishizaka Sangyo, President Noriko Ishizaka, one of the crQlr 2022 Judges, has implemented an impressive Zero Waste Design initiative that has thus far achieved a 98% recycling rate of the overall waste processed at the plant.

The Summit will feature talks by this year’s winners, judges, and experts, focusing on the trends and challenges of circular initiatives and businesses. This will also serve as an opportunity to share learnings from highlighted projects in their bottom-up, community-based activities, and how they can be applied in other regions.

Additionally, Summit participants will be encouraged to experience “circularity” with all five senses by touring Ishizaka Sangyo’s resource recycling plant and enjoying lunch and music at the Ishizaka Organic Farm.

In addition to the crQlr Summit 2023 JAPAN, online crQlr Summits connecting FabCafe Mexico City (Mexico) and FabCafe Toulouse (France) will be held.

We look forward to your participation as an opportunity for mutual learning among those striving to realize a circular economy, as well as a chance to connect with those actively working on the industry’s front lines.

About ecovillage Santome Konjaku Mura

This environmental education site utilizes the natural area that Ishizaka Sangyo reclaimed and restored from what previously was a mountain of illegally dumped garbage. The ecovillage is open to the public, and aims at preserving and passing onto the future generations the culture and traditions of the area, originally known as Santome Shinda. It also seeks to promote awareness on the importance of resource recycling to make a more sustainable earth possible.

Surrounded by lush greenery and spanning the area of approximately four Tokyo Domes, Santome Konjaku Mura provides a variety of hands-on environmental education programs attuned to each season of the year. 

Santome Konjaku Mura, an ecovillage managed by Ishizaka Sangyo.

Guided tours of Ishizaka Sangyo.


Gathering at Shibuya
Departure by shuttle bus
Tour of Ishizaka Sangyo recycling plant
Keynote Speech by Nozomi Torii, Director of Value Books
Talk Session
1.Presentation of three crQlr Awards 2022 winning projects

  • GURUGURU Radish (Mari Matsuyama, Brand Editor at Radishbo-ya Mail Order Business Division Sales Planning Department, Oisix Ra Daichi Co.)
  • Machi Closet (Yuji Aono, CEO, PlayBlue Inc.)
  • ASO-DEKASUGI GUARDRAIL Project (Akihiko Higuchi, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyushu University)


  • What barriers have you overcome and how have you overcome them in the process of working in your local community?
  • How can we connect the challenges and lessons learned from local activities to other regions and to the global community?
  • How can we connect the challenges and learning from our community-based activities to other regions and to the global community?Discussion participants: the three award-winning projects, keynote speaker Nozomi Torii, Kotaro Iwaoka (CEO, Hidakuma), Atsuko Ogawa (Art Director, Loftwork Kyoto).

3.Exchange of opinions among event participants


Music performance, networking and refreshments
Music performances will be offered by crQlr Awards 2022 winner Mirai Gakki Lab (Sohei Hara, Inventor of Musical Instruments), as well as ELECTRÓNICOS FANTASTICOS!
Departure from Santome Konjaku Mura
Arrival in Tokyo (*Arrival time might be delayed depending on traffic conditions).



Nozomi Torii
Director, Value Books Inc.

Joined Value Books, Inc. (Ueda City, Nagano Prefecture), a company that buys and sells used books, in 2015.

Torii is currently working toward obtaining for her company the B Corporation™️ certification, an initiative aimed at transforming the global economy into one for all people, communities, and the planet. In parallel to the Value Books certification process, she has coordinated the translation B Corp Handbook: Measuring, Practicing, and Improving Good Business in collaboration with the Blkswn Publishers community. The translated handbook was printed in June, 2022, thus becoming the first publication of Value Books. Previously, Torii worked for Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities Inc. for 15 years.

crQlr Awards 2022 WINNERS

Mari Matsuyama
Brand Editor / Radishbo-ya Mail Order Business Division Sales Planning Department, Oisix Ra Daichi Co.

After graduating from Keio University, Faculty of Policy Studies, Matsuyama has been involved in Radishbo-ya’s brand development at Oisix Ra Daichi. Her areas of work include planning and editing Ohanashi Salad, a quarterly magazine that connects producers and consumers, as well as planning, copywriting, and editing the brand website to communicate sustainable initiatives. 

Matsuyama is responsible for concept planning, sales promotion planning, and branding for Fuzoroi Radish, a food loss reduction project, and GURUGURU Radish, a project to promote circular economy. The former was a finalist for the Japan Sustainable Seafood Award 2021, while the later received the crQlr Awards 2022 Waste-Not Circular Design Prize.

Yuji Aono
CEO, PlayBlue Inc.

Deep interest in the circular local economy motivated Yuji Aono to become the owned media editor for a start-up learning platform aimed at working people owned media. In parallel, Aono also launched a media platform featuring local stories of his hometown.

Aono also produces a cup curry brand that brings the charm and story of local vegetables to consumers, hosts talk events to think about the future of local communities, and collaborates with food rescue services to promote regional development. Aono’s latest projects are Somete, an upcycling platform for re-dyeing clothes as a solution for apparel resource loss, and Machi Closet, a community that enables used clothes circulation.

Akihiko Higuchi
Associate Professor, Department of Environment and Society, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyushu University

Akihiko Higuchi has been engaged in maintaining and restoring landscapes and creating new natural spaces throughout Japan, mainly in the field of civil engineering and public works. In recent years, Higuchi has been working on the planning and implementation of various green infrastructures utilizing local historic masonry and local timber. 

Major awards include the Asian Urban Landscape Award (for the railroad trackside boardwalk plaza in Oita City) and the JSCE Design Award for the best design (for the Naga River construction section of the Tsuwano and Naga River restoration grant project).

crQlr Awards 2022 JUDGES

Kotaro Iwaoka
Hidakuma CEO

In 2011, Kotaro joined the creative company Loftwork, Inc. with the idea of creating the world’s first cafe equipped with digital fabrication machines, FabCafe. In 2012, he opened the first FabCafe in Tokyo, where he worked as the Creative and Operations Director. In 2015, Kotaro contributed to the launch of Hida no Mori de Kuma ga Odoru (Hidakuma), a project aimed at promoting the woods and craftsmanship of Hida, Japan. In 2016 helped open FabCafe Hida and has served as the CEO of Hidakuma since 2019.


Atsuko Ogawa
Loftwork Kyoto Art Director

Atsuko Ogawa joinined Loftwork in 2020 and is the Project Manager of the Tokai Circular Economy Project, an initiative co-organized by the Chubu Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan and the Ogaki Kyoritsu Bank.Tokai Circular aims to strengthen the circular economy system in the Tokai region. Atsuko has worked in Japanese department stores, and was engaged in planning and public relations at a lifestyle goods manufacturer. Later on, she participated in the establishment of the public relations department at a general real estate company, where she provided comprehensive design and managment direction.

Kousuke Kinoshita
FabCafe Kyoto MTRL Marketing and Production

Kousuke Kinoshita has been the Manager of FabCafe MTRL Kyoto since it’s open in 2017. MTRL (“Material”) supports material co-creation and innovation at manufacturing companies while FabCafe Kyoto is a technology and innovation-centered place for gatering a diverse community of creators, researchers, and companies. Through the management of online/offline workshops and the production of exhibition projects, Kousuke aims to create a place where chemical reactions occur and implement a contextual design that connects things and concepts from diverse fields. 

crQlr Awards 2022 PRODUCER

Kazuto Kojima
Loftwork Producer

After studying architecture at a vocational school, he has been involved in new brand, store, and product development, as well as PR plans, as designer, director and planner. Independently, Kojima also works as an artist under the name “Harmonism”, and creates works that transcend genres through collaborations in fashion, botanical research, urban vegetable gardening, and other fields.

Kojima joined Loftwork in 2018, and has been in charge of a wide range of projects including new business creation, co-creation space design, local industry promotion, and so on. Since 2020, he has been actively introducing SF prototyping and other methods to propose what companies and organizations should do in the future in a society where the future is uncertain. Kojima is interested in designing questions about the future, both as a business person and as an author. His nickname is “Hamo san”.


Sohei Hara (Mirai Gakki Lab)
Musical Instrument Inventor

Born in Aichi Prefecture, Japan, Sohei Hara is a percussionist and musical instrument inventor.

With the theme of “making music and musical instruments more accessible,” he has self-learned to create more than 140 types of musical instruments from plastic bottles, empty cans, and all kinds of everyday objects.

Based in Nagoya, Hara gives concerts and workshops throughout Japan, and as a member of the daily necessities instrument unit “kajii,” he has appeared in more than 40 TV programs. Recently, Hara has become addicted to creative musical instruments that include “karakuri”, or hidden mechanisms and tricks. Hara’s project Mirai Gakki Lab is a winner of the crQlr Awards 2022.


ELECTRONICOS FANTASTICOS! is a project led by artist/musician Ei Wada that aims to reincarnate old electrical appliances as new electromagnetic instruments, invents new ways to play music, and co-creates orchestras and festivals with diverse people. Currently, the project has three activity bases in Japan: Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hitachi. More than 70 members from various backgrounds such as engineers, designers, musicians, and managers have joined so far to transform CRT televisions, electric fans, camcorders, air conditioners, telephones and other devices into instruments. 

ELECTRONICOS FANTASTICOS! actively adapt the original functionalities of electric appliances to musical instruments, and spin fantasies as they dream about Folk Electromagnetic Music and festivals born from worn-out technologies.


crQlr Summit 2023 JAPAN

February 22 (Wed), 2023
Santome Konjaku Mura, 1589-2, Kamitomi, Miyoshi-cho, Iruma-gun, Saitama
*A shuttle bus will be provided from Shibuya, Tokyo.
50 participants *Due to space limitations, once this number of participants is reached further inquiries will be added to a waiting list.
Participation fee
  • crQlr Awards 2021-2022 winners, judges and supporters: free
  • General: 5,000 JPY (tax included)
Application deadline
  • 02/02 (Frid) until 18:00.
  • Selected participants will be contacted by 02/08 (Wed)

Organized by: Loftwork / FabCafe
Cooperation: IDEAS FOR GOOD / Circular Economy Hub
Please note: The program is subject to change without notice.

Don’t miss the online crQlr Summits connecting FabCafes around the world

In addition to the crQlr Summit 2023 JAPAN, FabCafe Global will hold online crQlr Summits globally, connecting FabCafe Mexico City (Mexico) and FabCafe Toulouse (France). 

The online Summits will provide a forum for open feedback and knowledge exchange among those at the forefront of circular design around the world. Speakers will include the founders of each FabCafe, crQlr Awards judges, and crQlr winners. The events will be hosted in English, free of charge.

If you are interested in attending the crQlr Summits online, please sign up for the FabCafe Global newsletter to receive the latest information and updates!

Click here to sign up for the FabCafe Global newsletter

About the crQlr Awards

Launched as Japan’s first award in the field of circular design, the crQlr Awards aim at broadening sustainability players’ perspectives through exposure to not only practical know-how in existing industries, but also to inspiring projects from all over the world. The overarching goal of the Awards is to enable companies, artists, and all sorts of professionals to make full use of their creativity in a wide range of fields toward the implementation of circular economy systems.

Last year’s awards attracted 204 projects from 24 countries, and applicants included companies, organizations, startups, and designers. Among them, 63 award-winning projects were presented with “crQlr Certification” kits to support and promote their circular economy initiatives.

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Next Contents

Announcing the 28 Winners of the 2023 crQlr Awards – the Global Award to Design a Circular Economy

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