Updated: May 19
Takeshi Tamashiro designs and redesigns to find the right balance between purity, ease of use and assembly, and he says that once they reveal their aesthetics they must be nice. We are glad to have his designs in Milan Design market and happy to present him to you.
Takeshi, can you tell us more about yourself?
I am mexican from Mexico city, (the name is due to my grandparents who moved to mexico from japan in the 1930's) Have been living in Italy for 9 years now, as years go on I have slowly cultivated a certain will to project and construct things that I think will make my life better, but truly what makes it better is the very moment of projecting and constructing.
What sparkled your interest in design?
A particular will to solve functional small issues of my everyday activities... the curiosity about the way things are woven, constructed or assembled.
How your culture affected your designs?
I have always felt my being mexican as something blurry or not really defined... however I guess culture goes far beyond, and the more I get older the more I find how mexican I may be.... As I develop objects or furniture I find a certain will to adapt and arrange with simple things, to move with what is available, to recycle, to do by hand.
I believe the values of a culture are beautifully expressed in handcrafts and on the other side I think designing means enacting values.
Said this, I perceive some traditional mexican wooden toys as being incredible mechanisms that express joy combining simplicity and roughness (never nicely finished but they do their job beautifully!) When I try to solve my objects I strive for these traits, somehow.
What do you think about events like Milan Design Week and activities like Milan Design Market?
It is so rewarding to meet people with similar interests (other designers) and also to have the possibility to show what you do to so many people. Last 2017 was my first year in the Milan Design week and Market and I felt the city was incredibly open and supportive to what people like me do, big thumbs up to the initiative and to people that visit!
In your opinion what effects it has in designers life?
Well, I currently live in the Tuscan countryside, and for how much I can like it I have the feeling there is not much I can do with my designs around here. Events like this can put a designer in front of a very receptive scene so I guess it helps you define...which is sometimes necessary.
How many of your products we will see in Milan Design Market, can you explain them?
I am coming with a set of a desk, a charriot and a chair. The desk closes to hide the mess or opens to have a large working space, the charriot can help set a printer and can carry the desk and take it for a ride, the chair is also a high stool and it can sit on top of the desk so you can have the three pieces in one block. They are done with wood and wooden panels and finished with ecological oils and colors.
I will also brings some small stools I do putting together old pieces of wood I find here and there.
As your objects are born from the intent to solve practical problems through simple and honest mechanism. What does “functionality” mean for you?
I very highly admire people who create beautiful objects, on the other side I believe currently this doesn't belong to me as an "object" maker.... however I intend to pursue beauty focusing in the function an object has to achieve and the way it may do it.
Who or what has been the biggest influence on your work to date?
La tablita magica, the traditional wooden toy (found in Mexico and Italy) made of a set of little wooden squares connected through ribbons and creating very funny movements....
What do you believe is the fundamental factor in design?
The process and not neglecting what you know you shouldn't neglect.
What is your biggest design challenge?
Ideally I want to do something that is very easy to produce, amazingly simple to use and incredibly clever.... just like the tablita magica.... this challenge is constantly there in every object I develop, I fear it will never be fully accomplished....
Outside of design, what are you currently interested in and how is it feeding into your design?
In this moment I feel it is all to be designed, my spare time, the way I may live or travel around with my two kids, how I may heat my house or organize my time between my different activities... I think eventually I will stop this and sit back and relax, not now.