TAKING UNIQUE, IMAGINATIVE DESIGNS AND MAKING THEM REAL
Day in and day out Koji Fujii tirelessly pursues perfection as he creates life-size models of the innovative forms he receives from Mazda’s designers. He carves, polishes and fine-tunes, again and again, until he creates a model that some might say is even more perfect than the final production car. As an expert fabricator with the Mazda design team, Fujii achieves this hyper-perfection by forming parts out of a variety of materials and by making subtle adjustments. His endless passion for ultimate perfection enhances the exquisite beauty of the car models painstakingly crafted at Mazda.
DARING TO GO BEYOND “PERFECTION”
A fabricator’s job description is to create a realistic model of the design that results from the collaboration between designer, clay modeler and digital modeler. Fujii works with materials such as resin, wood and metal to create a 3-D “hard model” that has the quality of the real production vehicle. “A hard model is produced to make final design checks and to sign-off the design. That’s why a hard model needs to look exactly like the real model, which requires precision and attention to every single detail. I strive to make every hard model look more perfect than the real car, because quality and perfection affect the corporate decision”, says Fujii.
From the shape of door knobs, transparency level of lamps and instrument panel quality, every part that is visible to the human eye must be accurately reproduced.
“I never, ever compromise on quality. For me, “this will do” means nothing. I keep on working till I can tell myself, “this is it”. And it’s not just me. That’s what car manufacturing at Mazda is all about.”
ALWAYS LOOKING FOR NEW IDEAS
Even though Fujii receives a finalized design outline, major revisions do take place throughout the hard model’s production process. That’s why an expert fabricator needs to have flexibility on top of creativity, imagination and design reproduction capabilities.
“Because innovation is prized in the design world, I take time to explore and collect interesting ideas on joints and surface treatment.”
For inspiration he and his fellow fabricators go on research trips to examine traditional objects made by master craftsmen. “We take the time to soak in details, and discuss about how little details are being made,” says Fuji. “We share great passion for manufacturing and craftsmanship, so discussions are a great way to learn from one another.”
CONTRIBUTING TO THE CAR’S OVEALL QUALITY
A hard model is not only used to make final design decisions, but also to provide a benchmark for the quality of the production car. “It’s true that every detail of a hard model will not be reproduced in production”. Fujii continues, “But it can be seen as a target to share with the production team. That’s a very important role the hard model plays in the manufacturing process.”
Once the design is signed off for production, the hard model is unveiled to Mazda’s Production Division leaders.
“The moment the hard model is revealed, you see the look on people’s faces change”, Fujii says excitedly. “Hearing people say, “wow it’s cool, we can’t wait to build it” gives me immense joy and makes me really proud.”
Fujii’s passion for manufacturing is shared with everyone involved in producing Mazda cars .
Mazda Design Creates New Products through the Harmony of Brilliant Technology and Ideas
As a fabricator, Fujii works with a designer to fine-tune and complete the product’s final design. According to Fujii, creating an open, free atmosphere for the fabricator and the designer to embrace as many perspectives as possible and exchange opinions and input till the very last minute is absolutely key. And what starts as one person’s passion, becomes energy that fuels the team as a whole, creating beauty that captures people’s hearts.