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Takada’s dragonflies and butterflies are masterfully designed, and he takes great pride in them. But the more you speak with Takada about his work, the more complicated and interesting the picture gets. Handmade insects, it turns out, are just one of his pursuits. Takada’s workshop makes a wealth of scientific toys and games that are sold to schools across Japan: models of planetary movement, devices that help explain electrical energy....

Then you notice that the outline of a dragonfly wing seems to have been burnt into a piece of wood. “That? Oh, a friend did that for me with his laser cutter.” As the conversation continues, you begin to appreciate that Takada is plugged into an informal city-wide industrial network of workshop-owning buddies. He himself owns an impressive 3D printer and when another member of the network needs a 3D printer to prototype something, Takada is happy to oblige. One day the favour will be returned.

Added on 27 Dec 2018

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