THE ISHINOMAKI–DETROIT COLLABORATIVE (IDC) is a transnational alliance of community-based ventures and non-profits in Ishinomaki City, Japan and Detroit, U.S.A. IDC fosters sharing of knowledge and personnel among its member organizations by engaging them in the co-planning and co-execution of project-based learning initiatives for students and professionals in Japan and the Untied States.

Over the course of a three semester curriculum spanning southeast Michigan and Japan, participating students from the University of Michigan facilitate joint projects between pairs of analogous community organizations working in Detroit and Ishinomaki.

The program’s mission is to forge mutually-beneficial collaborations between parallel community efforts in both cities, while fostering collaborative competency, intercultural fluency, civic responsibility, creative confidence, and self-agency in our students.


THE BRIGHTMOOR BENTO is a portable flatpack kit designed, prototyped, and produced by a collaborative consisting of the Brightmoor Maker Space and Ishinomaki Laboratory. Inspired by Ishinomaki Laboratory’s Bento DIY Kit, the BRIGHTMOOR BENTO consists of prefabricated wood components that makers of all ages can assemble into various types of micro-infrastructure.

To learn more about the Brightmoor Bento Workshop method, check out the Brightmoor Maker Space website and this article from the Stamps School of Art & Design.

Interested in holding a Brightmoor Bento workshop in your community? Contact Brad Hammond at!


ON SEPTEMBER 29, 2017, the Ishinomaki–Detroit Collaborative, in partnership with The Carr Center and the Detroit Design Festival, hosted the U.S. debut exhibition of Ishinomaki Laboratory in the heart of downtown Detroit. Rather than import pieces from Japan, all Ishinomaki Laboratory furniture on display was built using locally-sourced wood by artisans at the Brightmoor Maker Space.

Check out the Detroit Free Press’ special photo coverage here!

Check out Ishinomaki Laboratory CEO Keiji Ashizawa’s pre-exhibition lecture at the Michigan Theater here!



HUMANS OF ISHINOTROIT is a collaborative production of high school students at DHDC in southwest Detroit, young people active at ITNAV in Ishinomaki, and undergraduates from the University of Michigan. A compendium of stories from both cities, this website serves as an interactive space for youth in SW Detroit and Ishinomaki.


DHDC | DHDC’s mission is to make a difference by creating life-changing opportunities for youth and their families. We are committed to meeting the needs of our community by providing quality, innovative and culturally appropriate services, primarily in Southwest Detroit. Our vision is to create a stable and safe community where youth and families have quality opportunities for self-empowerment, education, and personal wealth.

ITNAV | Founded in the aftermath of the 2011 Great East Japan Tsunami, ITNAV is a hybrid for-profit/NPO operation that promotes K-12 programming and graphic design education in Ishinomaki. Based in a repurposed vacant building, ITNAV provides in-house coding and graphic design workshops; dispatches staff to support coding courses in local high schools; and provides study space, computers, and mentorship for local youth interested in IT.




BRIGHTMAKI COMMONS ISHINOMAKI is an outdoor community space located at Common-Ship Hashidori in Ishinomaki, Japan, built via a collaborative consisting of the Brightmoor Maker Space, Ishinomaki Laboratory, Makigumi, and Machizukuri Manbo, with financial support from Herman Miller and assistance from undergraduate participants in the University of Michigan’s GIEU Japan/Detroit program.

Created over the course of a 3.5 week design/build process in May 2018, BRIGHTMAKI COMMONS supplements Common-Ship Hashidori’s ability to host outdoor food and music events through a host of specially-designed stools, tables, and yatai-style covered surfaces.