15 Japanese Designers creating one-of-a-kind designs!ByAmabelle Chandra
Japan, renowned for its cutting-edge design industry, is currently at the forefront of a global trend. In recent years, the concept of minimalistic interior design has gained worldwide popularity, offering a serene ambiance within our homes and lifestyles. Japan's design aesthetics are deeply rooted in a rich cultural heritage that seamlessly blends tradition with innovation, merging visually stunning works that are beyond functional.
Don’t miss out and browse through The Artling’s curated collection of 15 Japanese designers before their one-of-a-kind designs are gone!
Beginning with arcitecture, Satoshi Itasaka, now a designer of furniture and products, is collaborating with Takuto Usami with a studio named H220430. The Schwarzald Stool has a rustic appearance that was achieved by exposing it to acidity, remembering the acid rain that once plagued Germany's Schwarzwald. Beyond design, Itasaka highlights global issues, one being the persistent threat of nuclear warfare. The Mushroom Lamp is a symbol of hope, showcasing awareness about nuclear disarmament. In the face of overwhelming odds, Itasaka aspires a brighter, peaceful world by incorporating moral creations into daily lives.
“They are much better and more flexible than we generally think they are, so I work with metal exactly as I work with other everyday materials such as paper or fabric.” - Kei Tominaga
A versatile artist who is remarkable at sculpting metal is Kei Tominaga. Tominaga's unique approach involves working with sheet metals, including silver, gold, copper, and iron. She exploits their flexibility to cut, bend, fold, curve, and fuse them together. This meticulous process results in objects that are pure and strong and infuses her work with both resilience and tension.
Hailing from Shimoichi town in Nara, Japan is Shimoichi Mokkosha Ichi dedicated to sharing the inherent beauty and warmth of Yoshino Cedar through furniture. Creating each piece with a kanna (Japanese plane), it allows the material's natural grain and aromatic qualities to shine. The Jupiter Chair, with its perfectly rounded back and seat, and the Vibrato Chair, an expressive back view that changes with the viewing angle, showcases the distinct wood grains, patterns, and tones inherent to Yoshino Cedar, ensuring each piece is different.
STUDIO BYCOLOR, founded by Kaori Akiyama, specializes in exploring the profound impact and significance of colors in product design. Akiyama, a graduate in Design Science from Chiba University, embarked on her design journey and spent a decade honing her skills working on diverse design projects. In 2013, she established her own firm, STUDIO BYCOLOR, in Tokyo.
“Ever since I first spun a pottery wheel, I have been fascinated by the feeling of tension, the centrifugal force, and the touch of clay changing its shape in the hand.” - Tomoya Sakai
The Layer series are ceramic designs Tomoya Sakai crafted using a pottery wheel. Through spinning the wheel, he finds peace, organising chaotic images that live within the mind. Tomoya gathers these said imagined scenes to find inspiration from associating images alongside natural objects, architectural structures, shots from movies, and many more.
Studio Jig challenges the conventional perception of coniferous wood to be unsuitable for furniture. Their innovative designs and studio employs a 'free form lamination' technique to craft curved wood, achievable only with the exceptional quality of Yoshino cedar, known for its long, knot-free, finely grained, and uniform wood. The CJ2 Legless Chair exemplifies craftsmanship, featuring curved lines and constructed from Yoshino Sugi, designed for both comfort and durability, bearing a unique three-dimensional texture.
A Tokyo designer focusing on architecture, furniture, and product design is Toshiki Omatsu. Omatsu, director of the Space Design Department at the Kuwasawa Design School, ventured into "Art x Technology" furniture design, utlizing aluminum. After Dark is a chair with interplays of tension and comfort, a semicircular seat surface and a thin 4mm aluminum plate, giving the impression of it floating. In contrast, Shades of Michaelangelo combines warm maple wood with cold metal, a 3mm aluminum sheet forming the seat, employing innovative technology used for architectural facades.
Daisuke Takano, a woodworker based in Yoshino, Japan, crafts bespoke furniture and household accessories from Yoshino Wood. In his work, Takano prioritizes the creation of pieces for individuals who deeply value the materials and craftsmanship, rather than mass production. He is currently exploring the use of Cedar bark as a new material and aims to introduce innovative ways to utilize it, framing the essence of Yoshino Nature and relaxation within the products.
From the town of Kuwana, Nozomi Fujii specializes in crafting designed vases. Her distinctive approach revolves around the pottery wheel, which imposes a limitation on her work by allowing only symmetrical clay shaping. Fujii finds beauty in creating exquisite forms within this constraint. Not using glaze to emphasize the natural colors and original texture, she extracts an essence from the material and presents it in a modern style. Her creations embody her belief that creative artwork serves as a means to sublimate the innermost aspects of being into natural and pure forms that exude a sense of calm.
Known for his innovation technique called ”free form lamination” is Kenta Hirai, based in Kawakami Village, Nara, Japan. A unique woodworker, the Muji 1 seater is crafted from Yoshino Cedar, embodying his signature style of integrated and streamlined design, showcasing the wood's distinctive white and red tones. Hirai's chairs, in particular, are notable for their unique back and seat connection and striking shapes.
Specializing in meticulous creation using natural materials is MoonRounds, an atelier by Takashi Watanabe. Working with an array of woods, including Yoshino Cedar, Cypress, cherry wood, and others requires to identify their unique traits and carefully integrate into creations. Embracing nature's simplicity and warmth is evident in his use of plant-based dyes, waxes, and oils. The Crescent Stool series, crafted from Yoshino Cypress and adorned with dyes from persimmon and soot, is distinct in wood grains, patterns, and tones, making each piece truly unique.
StudioYO is a Japanese design duo renowned for their innovative work in product, furniture, and object design. Three-Legged Drawer is a testament to their approach, inspired by Japan's traditional tools and minimalism. This drawer challenges convention with its three-legged structure and absence of outer casing. Receiving acclaim from renowned designer Michael Young who described it as straddling the boundary between design and art, he symbolism of a square object standing on three legs captivate viewers with its floating appearance.
Carving logs into shapes is sculptor Hiroyuki Nishimura. His artistry revolves around wood that would otherwise go to waste due to its unsuitability for furniture or architectural purposes. His designs exemplifies this ethos, crafting oak through chainsaw carving. Nishimura's works give new life to wood that might otherwise be discarded, aligning with his commitment to repurposing materials that would otherwise be wasted.
Mokkou Mori based in the woodworking town of Shimoichi, crafts furniture primarily of Yoshino Cedar, finished with a kanna (Japanese plane). Highlighting the material's benefits and intrinsic value is U Petal Curved Backrest Arm Chair. It embodies this vision, paying homage to Yoshino Wood and the local community. By showcasing the wood's softness and the smoothly contoured backrest created with a kanna, the chair offers a gentle and comfortable embrace.
Morisho Meiboku has its roots deeply embedded in the lumber industry, originally specializing in forestry and log polishing. Their work predominantly involves Yoshino Cedar and Cypress, taking advantage of the region's favorable environmental conditions. With a commitment to preserving tradition, they've embarked on a new venture under the MORITO brand. This initiative aims to bridge the gap between nature and daily life, striking a balance between heritage preservation and the advancement of Yoshino's wood culture.
The world of design is continually enriched by the innovative and harmonious creations of Japanese designers. As you explore the these 15 talented designers, you're not just acquiring a piece of furniture or decor; you're inviting the spirit of Japanese craftsmanship and aesthetics into your home. Each piece is a testament to the enduring legacy of Japan's design heritage making a statement about appreciation for beauty, functionality, and the timeless elegance that defines Japanese design.
Discover the perfect piece that resonates style and complements your living space, and let the artistry of these designers enrich your everyday life. Find a completed collection of Japanese designer’s here!
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