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5 Minutes With… Tamaki Design Studio

They have two new products for Living Divani about to be launched in Milan and a profile that’s on the up. Ahead of the fair, we spoke to Tamaki Design Studio and confirmed why they’re solidly on our radar.

5 Minutes With… Tamaki Design Studio

Junpei and Iori Tamaki

Junpei Tamaki (Japanese) and Iori Tamaki (Taiwanese) only established their Tokyo studio in 2013, but already they have designed for some of Italy’s leading brands – including Living Divani. At the heart of Tamaki Design Studio’s work, which is blissfully well resolved and poetic, is an interest in revisiting Asian heritage in graphic and conceptual terms.

This proved particularly alluring to Living Divani, which simultaneously values its own heritage of ‘Made in Italy’ and embarks on a quest for new talents and affinities with designers beyond geographical boundaries.

Living Divani will be presenting two new products developed with Tamaki Design Studio at the Salone del Mobile next week: a sculpture-like coat hanger called Tonbo and a chair embellished with decorative weaving titled Rivulet. We spoke with Junpei and Iori to find out more.



How did your working relationship with Living Divani begin?

The Director came to our booth at Salone Satellite, where we exhibited in 2013 and 2014. She was very interested in our prototypes. We gave her lots of proposals for products, and this year she picked up two of them for production.


Tell us about Tonbo and Rivulet.

Tonbo means ‘dragonfly’ in Japanese. When we were developing the shape, we imagined a dragonfly that has perched itself quietly on your finger or shoulder. That’s the image we wanted to create for the coat hanger. It can also function as a side table for small accessories.

Living Divani has a lot of sofas in its catalogue, so we wanted to make something that could be used in the sofa area. Most of the time, coat hangers are placed at the side of the room or beside the door. But we imagined Tombo as an object that could sit beside the sofa and double up as a side table. We made the form as simple as possible. It looks very simple, but actually there is nothing else like it on the market.

The Rivulet chair presents the image of a river – like the joining of two streams of water. The brand image of Living Divani is simple, cool and elegant, and we aimed to create forms with those qualities. Through our work, we want to create designs that speak of Japan, Taiwan and Asia. We hope that our designs can bring a new essence to Living Divani.



What words would you use to describe your work in general?

We design furniture as well as spaces – interiors and exhibitions. First we try to see the problem – be it furniture or space – and we work to overcome it with something suitable and easy to use. We always think about the client or customer first. Then we work towards creating a beautiful image and character.


What is the biggest influence on your practice?

Shiro Kuramata has always been a big influence – in many ways. His work is so surprising and touching.


Tell us about your journey into professional design over the last eight years.

A big moment in our development was our first visit to the Salone del Mobile in 2012. We were really astonished by the design we saw, and we exchanged opinions with a lot of designers there. That’s when we decided to become independent and focus on our own design.


What advice would you give to young designers who are just starting out?

Keep things very simple. Don’t forget your passion and motivation towards design. It’s very hard to keep your passion when you’re older. But it’s the most important thing in design.


See Tonbo and Rivulet at the Living Divani stand at the Salone del Mobile 2018 – Hall 7, Stand C11-D16. In Singapore, Living Divani is available from Dream/Proof Living.

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