Turning Constraints into Creativity


Direction for research magazine WORK MILL

The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed various constraints on both our daily lives and work styles. As a media outlet, how can we use this situation to our advantage and effectively communicate our findings? We compiled a magazine based on case studies from around the world and interviews with experts.
How can we create a magazine that proposes a theme that moves everyone toward positive thinking in times of change, and that readers can experience?
A positive turn on the seemingly negative matter of "constraints. We have compiled the visionary corporate way of doing business into a single magazine that is linked to the times.
Questioning the significance of physical media.

WORK MILL with Forbes JAPAN” is a magazine launched in September 2017 that explores the future of work, produced by the office furniture maker Okamura. Since its inception, the editorial direction has been handled by Takao Kunori and Mizukuchi, who also worked at Forbes JAPAN. They have introduced various themes, such as collaboration in coworking spaces, working styles in Denmark, the conditions needed for a well-loved company, and new standards during the COVID-19 pandemic, showcasing the latest examples from around the world.

Creating a magazine that can be sold in bookstores takes time, effort, and money. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the environment surrounding paper media and reporting has dramatically changed. As such, the team behind “WORK MILL with Forbes JAPAN” is exploring new forms of expression while considering the role and characteristics of physical media.

Turning constraints in to an advantage

The title of ISSUE06, released in April 2021 and directed by Mizukuchi, is “The Power of Constraints.” In an era where both individuals and companies are expected to make choices and decisions, the act of choosing also involves imposing constraints, which can be seen as an expression of will for future business.

“Constraints” also presented a challenge for the production team. With restrictions on travel and movement due to the pandemic, which has been a key element of the magazine’s content, they had to find new ways of conducting interviews and presenting information.

To ensure the content remains substantial even with online interviews, the magazine has shifted from being visually-oriented to focusing more on written content. They have redesigned the layout and format to create a more engaging reading experience. By intentionally limiting the number of colors used in the printing process, they aim to create a unique and distinctive look.

In addition to showcasing examples from around the world, ISSUE06 includes special interviews with renowned economist Jacques Attali and designer Thomas Heatherwick. The magazine explores the positive power of constraints in business from various perspectives, including the history of office spaces and working styles that have continuously evolved between constraints and freedom.

  • Direction : Okamura
  • Editorial Direction : KESIKI
  • Editing : Linkties


Despite the constraints presented by online interviews, many interviews were made possible by embracing these limitations. This magazine offers a new approach to magazine production.