On Japanese Folk Craft
“In our time, we try to make use of the value in both handicraft and folk craft.”
Japanese industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa introduces the tradition of Japanese folk craft. Read more …
To Naoto Fukasawa, Japanese design is about finding beauty in everyday objects. When Muneyoshi Yanagi, a Japanese art critic philosopher, and founder of the mingei (folk craft) movement, appeared in the 1920s, a new view on handicrafts was introduced: “He said that true beauty was not only in these things given as presents just to look at but also in the things we all are using every day.” Fukasawa explains: “In our time, we try to make use of the value in both handicraft and folk craft and find a way to use it in our design.”
Naoto Fukasawa (b. 1956) is a Japanese industrial designer, author, and educator, working in product and furniture design. He is known for his product design work with the Japanese retail company MUJI, as well as work with and for companies such as Herman Miller, Alessi, B&B Italia, Magis, and HAY. In 2003 Naoto Fuksawa started working independently after several years for Seiko Epson and IDEO San Francisco. His designs span a variety of fields, from precision electronic equipment to furniture, interior spaces, and architecture. Fukasawa determined that the impetus for design is found in people’s unconscious behavior and named this “Without Thought.”
Naoto Fukasawa has been working on the advisory board of Muji and is on the judging panel of the Nikkei Shimbun’s Superior Products and Services Award. He was the Good Design Award chairman from 2010 to 2014. He has also judged on the Braun Prize in 2012. In 2018 he was awarded the Isamu Noguchi Award.
Naoto Fukasawa was interviewed in his studio in Tokyo, Japan, by journalist Jens H. Jensen in April 2022.
Camera: Yudai Maruyama
Produced and edited by: Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærkesen
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