Lives and Works: Tokyo
In the late 1960s Kuramata realized the possibilities of modern science and technology to become a global designer known for his innovative works. These include many pieces which use a mix of diverse mediums including acrylic, glass, aluminum, and steel mesh. He was born in Tokyo in 1934. He attended the Tokyo Metropolitan Kogei High School and began work at Teikoku Kuzai in 1953. From 1953 to 1956 he studied at Kuwasawa Design Research Center, Department of Living Design, and in 1957 mobed to Mie Prefecture to work in advertising, creating window displays. In 1956 he began his own office, Kuramata Design. In 1967 he gained attention after collaborating with Tadanori Yokoo on an interior design project.
From around this time, he started to use the acrylic that he would favor for the rest of his life, creating transparent, weightless works emulating that cloating space of everyday life. Kuramata gained international recognition with his 1970 series "Furniture in Irregular Forms". He was awarded the Mainichi Design Prize in 1972. In 1981 he participated in an exhibition in Memphis set up by Ettore Sottssas Jr., showing works as part of a new Italian design movement alongside Arata Isozaki and Michael Graves. He was awarded the French Order of Culture in 1990. He suffered from heart failure in 1991 and passed away at the age of 56.
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