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Naoto Fukasawa: Carefully Considered

From a finely honed Japanese armchair through to a carefully executed Italian lamp, there’s always a consideration for detail, balance and refinement in Fukasawa’s work. Alice Blackwood has the story.

Naoto Fukasawa: Carefully Considered


May 9th, 2013

A Japanese designer operating in a global design economy, Naoto Fukasawa’s designs – launched by myriad brands each year at the Milan Furniture Fair – set a benchmark for every designer releasing new product during that crucial week.

Naoto Fukasawa

Hiroshima for Maruni

Fukasawa is serious about his work, and serious about design. He’s not one to sell his name to the top bidder, but rather enriches the brands with whom he works, infusing in those custom collections his own set of good design principles (which demand value, quality and meaning in everything one does).

Naoto Fukasawa

Malta Table for Maruni

As creative director of Japanese furniture brand Maruni, Fukasawa has been pivotal in the brand’s rapid expansion into new market segments.

Naoto Fukasawa

Asian Bench for Maruni

His Roundish and Hiroshima ranges of seating have been extremely successful in international contract markets, carefully fusing that fine Japanese aesthetic and traditional craftsmanship with a modern day relevance that can be applied to anything from meeting rooms through to first-class flight lounges.

Naoto Fukasawa

Demtra for Artemide

Of his Roundish chair, presented for the first time in Milan in 2011, Fukasawa says: “I’ve changed it a bit in the back so when you feel the comfort, it’s around the sides of the back – here it is more important.

Naoto Fukasawa

Roundish for Maruni

“The body is round and you’re not always [static when seated]” – here he shifts around in the chair for emphasis.

“Still you can touch the whole [rounded] back of the chair – it makes it very comfortable.”

Naoto Fukasawa

Cup for Serralunga

This year Fukasawa has added a “very light and very strong” folding chair to the Hiroshima collection for Maruni – ideal for public seating situations.

Naoto Fukasawa

Itka for Danese

Of his other work, presented by some of the best design houses including Serralunga, Artemide, Magis, Danese and B&B Italia, Fukasawa says: “Everybody asks why I work with so many companies in Europe.

“I never sell my name, but once we start a relationship, I really carefully proceed.”

Naoto Fukasawa

Mateo for Magis

After all, “I’m a Japanese designer, but designing in a global context,” he says.

This interview was facilitated by SeehoSu the Australian supplier for Maruni.

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