This week, The Artling brings you 10 Japanese designers who have created stunning pieces. These multidisciplinary designers have not only found inspiration in their Japanese traditions, but they are driven by the purposes behind their works. Their passion and diverse backgrounds have bolstered their ability to create stunning pieces of furniture and objects that combine both functionality and aesthetic.
Scroll down to learn more about these 10 Japanese designers and their stunning designs.
Hailing from Shizuoka in the Chūbu region of Honshu, Kouichi Okamoto is a multidisciplinary designer with a background in both sound and product design. Before venturing into the realm of design, he had been producing music on his Dutch techno label since 1997. In 2006, he founded Kyouei Design and has since been imbuing his contemporary pieces with his musicality.
Kairo Kusamoto is a recent graudate of the doctoral course at the Tokyo Zokei University. He has focused his design research on the meaning and significance of pieces created using human hands in the age of technology. Kairo's designed the 'OilPainting Bench' with the goal of communicating his research. By visualising the ability of human hands, he gave the bench an expressive quality by coating its surface with splashes of paint to resemble the manual act of painting.
"We make designs that make use of the characteristics and meanings of human "hands" that are not technological. For this reason, I work on the premise of design that makes full use of the human hand."
Fumiya Ino is an award-winning designer who was born in Miyazaki. Now based in Fukuoka city, Fumiya established his own design studio, Fascicle, and showcased his dazzling 'tartan' light. He utilised a geometric composition to highlight the interplay between light and shadow. Here, Fumiya fused aesthetics of the East and West through the Scottish tartan pattern and a Japanese style of lighting.
Hamajima Takuya is a designer based in Tokyo with a passion for craftsmanship and sculptural modeling. After graduating from Musashino Art University and studying the preparation of natural materials and heat treatment technology at the Ceramics Research Laboratory, he began his journey as an independent designer. He seeks to create organic connections through his pieces, and constantly searches for new combinations of materials and techniques.
"I feel there is always a story between two objects, and I'm expecting something new to be born as a result."
Mugen Musou is an aesthetic woodware brand founded by Kazuma Iwata of the Iwata Woodworking Studio in Hiroshima. They carefully source for suitable materials and apply optimum finishes to draw out the value and enhance the true beauty of the wood. Their woodwork highlights the essence of minimalist design through the delicate lines of their elegant objects.
After studying design in Japan, Norihiko Terayama further developed his practice at the Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands. He works cross the boundaries between design and sculpture, while combining both aesthetic and functionality in his works. Most of Norihiko's pieces feature elements of nature, often blending flora and fauna with polygonal forms.
Naoki Hirakoso was born in Tokyo in 1974 and graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts before establishing his own practice, Hirakoso Design, in 2004. His minimalist aesthetic shines through in his 'Kai Table'; a design of simplicity on the surface, but when the table is opened up the hidden compartments of different sizes and forms appear. To Naoki, this design posses a duality in meaning. When viewed separately, the compartments serve as convential storage space; but when they are brought together their purpose is strengthened and their meaning serves to broaden one's mind.
Nendo Studio was founded by Oki Sato, who has won such major design awards, such as the Milan "Design Report Special Award" and the "Good Design Award". His representative works are among the collections at such world-famous art museums as the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Pompidou Center of Art and Culture in Paris. Nendo Studio's designs are highly geometrical with shapes derived from the pictographs of Chinese writing, creating an unexpected balance of art and functionality.
Ishikawa-based designer Ryosuke Harashima graduated from the Kanazawa International Design Institution (KIDI) in 2002 before studying product and furniture design at Parsons, The New School for Design in New York. In 2004, he began working at a graphic design office in Kanazawa, and simulateously spent his time researching traditional Japanese craftsmanship. During this period, much of his inspiration came from his cross-cultural experience of the East and West. He eventually founded his own design practice and has since focused on collaborating with artisans and manufacturers to create an innovative aesthetic that retains both Japanese and Western elements.
Yuma Kano is a Tokyo-based designer who founded his own design studio after working as an assistant to Japanese artist Yasuhiro Suzuki. He has received several major awards such as the Good Design Award, IFFT Young Designer Award, German Design Award. Yuma's designs bring Tokyo's history of the Industrial Revolution to life through his creative direction and contemporary designs. With his works, he aims to encourage people to discover new possibilities by exploring unnoticed aspects of everyday life.
We hope you enjoyed learning about these 10 Japanese designers and their stunning pieces. The Artling has a wide selection of designers from around the world with pieces fit for your aesthetic or functional needs! Take a look at our extensive selection of collectible design here.
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