Naoto Fukasawa ( b.1956) Japanese product designer

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Naoto Fukasawa featured image
Naoto Fukasawa featured image

Product designer

Naoto Fukasawa is a Japanese product designer. In 1956, he was born in Yamanashi Prefecture. 

Education

He graduated from Tama Art University’s Product Design Department in 1980. 

Biography

He joined Seiko Epson in the same year, where he was in charge of advanced development design. He went to the United States in 1989 and joined ID Two (now IDEO San Francisco). He returned to Japan in 1996 after seven years of honing his craft, mainly focusing on Silicon Valley industries. He created and ran IDEO’s Tokyo office, establishing a Japanese design consultant basis for the firm. In 2003, he became self-employed and founded NAOTO FUKASAWA DESIGN.

Fukasawa currently creates for a variety of prominent brands in Italy, Germany, the United States, Switzerland, Spain, China, Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, France, Portugal, Sweden, and Finland and consulting and designing for local Japanese businesses. His designs cover a wide range of topics, from precise electrical equipment to furniture, interior spaces, and architecture.

"Za" small stool
“Za” small stool

Design Theory

Fukasawa is well-known for his designs and design theories, endowed with a quiet strength that represents people’s dreams and expectations. Conveying them using such terms as “design dissolving in behaviour”, “centre of consciousness”, “normality”, “outline”, and “archetype”, he continues to put these philosophies into practice in his designs.

INFOBAR 2 (Phone) designed by Naoto Fukasawa
INFOBAR 2 (Phone) designed by Naoto Fukasawa

Fukasawa discovered the source of inspiration for design in people’s unconscious behaviour, which he dubbed “Without Thought.” Since 1999, he has organised workshops of the same name every year, and he has continued to publish the results of these workshops in the form of books.

Recognition

The Japan Folk Crafts Museum’s curator is Fukasawa. He is a lecturer at Tama Art University’s Integrated Design Department. He is a member of the 21_21 Design Sight board of directors. He is also the art director of Maruni and a member of Muji’s design advisory board. He serves on the Nikkei Shimbun’s Superior Products and Services Award judging panel and the Mainichi Design Award screening committee. He co-founded “Super Normal” with Jasper Morrison in 2006. From 2010 until 2014, he was the chairman of the Good Design Award. In 2012, he served on the Braun Prize judging panel. In 2017, he was appointed to the Loewe Craft Prize judging committee. The title of Royal Designer for Industry has been bestowed to him (Royal Society of Arts). In 2018, he received the Isamu Noguchi Award.

Sources

Naoto Fukasawa Product Designer. Naoto Fukasawa Design. (n.d.). https://naotofukasawa.com/about/.

Emeco and Naoto Fukasawa introduce “Za” . (n.d.). Emeco. https://emeco.centracdn.net/client/dynamic/articles/emeco_za_pressrelease_international_9121.pdf.

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