Tokyo is known as one of the biggest design markets in the world, especially considering the innovation factor that has brought into the design market. We’re going on a journey to discover the top interior design firms from Tokyo, to get to know all the inspiration you need for this year!
#1 – Aoyama Nomura Design
Aoyama Nomura Design (A.N.D.) it’s a magnificent, high-end interior, architectural and product design company of Nomura Co. Ltd. This design firm is recognized as one of Japan’s most incredible and innovative group of designers, constructors and operators. Led by creative director Ryu Kosaka, this company contains a team of experts and a large amount of award-winning interiors for commercial, hotel, office, restaurant, retail, exhibition, and residential projects in Japan, China, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Their design identity is focused on innovation, creativity and uniqueness, through the faithful reflection of the client’s vision!
#2 – Arata Isozaki
The architect established Arata Isozaki & Associates in 1963, after the allied occupation when Japan had regained its sovereignty and was seeking physical rebuilding amidst political, economic and cultural uncertainty from the decimation of WWII. He has won the 2019 Pritzker Architecture Prize in a ceremony at the Château de Versailles in France thanks to his transnational and fearlessly futurist approach to design. With more than 100 projects, Isozaki is the 49th Japanese architect to receive the honor. “The City in the Air”, in the Shinjuku neighborhood in Tokyo, Japan, is one of his renowned projects in the urbanism industry.
#3 – Atsushi Kitagawara
The Kitagawara Thermal Architecture Research Institute was founded in 1980 by Kitakawahara Thermal and reorganized into a corporation in 1982 and began full-scale design work. His link with nature is ever-enduring, as one can deduce by his magnificent work with the Japan Pavilion at the Milan International Exposition in 2015, Shibuya’s cinema building Rise, completed in 1986. The architect also envisioned some conceptual furniture designs, some of which are pieces that could very well come from an imaginative fantasy world of the highest order, a treat to both the eye and heart, proving that the creative landscape of his mind is quite eclectic.
#4 – FHAMS
Based in Kyoto, FHAMS is an incredible design team that has worked on a wide range of project types and scales such as interior design, hotels and retail shops. The design company, founded by Ryotaro Ando in 2000, proposes designs by considering various aspects, both contextual conditions, and legal conditions, context, climate, and concerns. The FHAMS design team strives to pursue the finest quality and the most exclusive designs.
#5 – Gwenael Nicolas/CURIOSITY
CURIOSITY is a multidisciplinary studio based in Tokyo, created by French designer Gwenael Nicolas. From bespoke interior design projects to architecture and product design, the studio is constantly redefining the boundary of design, not in an abstract way. They collaborate with a large spectrum of companies and clients, to create new products, develop new materials and define new design identities.
#6 – Hashimoto Yukio
Ranging from private restaurants, offices, retail and commercial spaces, to hospitality, restaurants, cafes, clinics and banquets, Hashimoto Yukio has a very diverse project portfolio. His philosophy focuses on designing ambiance instead of the material, which allows him to create timeless and harmonious yet quite minimalistic interiors, where the finest details are brought to our attention by a subtle play of light.
#7 – Kanji Ueki
Interior Designer and Representative Director of Casappo & Associates, Kanji Ueki was born in Tokyo in 1945. After graduating from Keio University in Tokyo, Ueki went to Italy where he worked at the RINASCENTE Department Design section in Milan. In 1971 he started working for Aldo Jacober Architect Studio in Milan, but in 1975 he moved to his homeland and established the top design office Casappo & Associates in Tokyo. His remarkably simple yet striking design style transcends the Asian minimalist vibe most clients search for. From all the accolades the designer has won over the years, we highlight the 2003 Industrial Design Excellence Award for his work on an Apple Store.
#8 – Koichi Futatsumata
Koichi Futatsumata was born in Kagoshima, Japan. After graduating from the Department of Engineering and Architecture at Kyushu Industrial University, Futatsumata set up a design unit, CASE-REAL, and started his incredible professional career as an interior designer. Thanks to his amazing design solutions in the areas of space, architecture and furniture, Futatsumata has exhibited his work at various exhibitions domestically and internationally. In 2013, Futatsumata set up Koichi Futatsumata Studio where he developed his product design practice further.
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#9 – Ryoji Iedokoro
At the office, Ryoji Iedokoro constantly strives to help people realize the importance of architecture through his unique and innovative designs. By combining everyday objects and new approaches the studio takes the spaces central to our day to day lives to a completely new level. Iedokoro believes that architecture is a critical part of every society and community since it can shape our perceptions and has the power to enrich every human life. Committed to achieve excellence, their amazing design projects portfolio was based on the engagement relationship with their clients, giving them the opportunity to meet and discuss everything about their goals in terms of design.
#10 – SANAA
Also known as the Sejima and Nishizawa and Associates, this multiple award-winning architectural firm is based in Tokyo, Japan. It was founded in 1995 by architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, who was awarded the Pritzker Prize in 2010. Notable works include the Toledo Museum of Art’s Glass Pavilion in Toledo, Ohio; the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York; the Rolex Learning Center at the EPFL in Lausanne; the Serpentine Pavilion in London; the Christian Dior Building in Omotesandō, Tokyo; the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa; and the Louvre-Lens Museum in France.
#11 – Shigemasa Noi
Born in Osaka, Japan in 1944, Shigemasa Noi is engaged to store design, exhibition design and display design, since 1965. The renowned designer has worked for Interna Kagaya, Interior Design Office Nob, and Xebec, and he established Shigemasa Noi’s design office in 1982. Today, he is known for developing various creative works focusing on the design of store, furniture and products. They believe that thinking in simple terms about how to transform the client’s wishes into a functional, three-dimensional space brings warmth to the final product.
#12 – Shigeru Ban
Born on August 5 in 1957, Shigeru Ban is a Japanese architect, known for his innovative work with paper, particularly recycled cardboard tubes used to quickly and efficiently house disaster victims. He was profiled by Time magazine in their projection of 21st-century innovators in the field of architecture and design. The renowned architect has won several design awards since 1985.
#13- Shinchiro Ogata
Shinchiro Ogata is a well-known Japanese architect recognized for his take on supervision of diverse architecture, interior, product and graphic design projects. After creating his interior design company SIMPLICITY in 1998, Ogata’s professional career led him to win awards such as the Grand Prize and the Gold Medal at the Design for Asia Awards in 2009. Like many Japanese organizations, this interior design company aims to create the culture of the next generation through the careful crafting of items for a quality contemporary lifestyle.
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#14 – Shiro Kuramata
One of the most celebrated and significant designers, we couldn’t leave him off the list. Shiro Kuramata’s futuristic and practical designs to this day are showcased in New York’s MoMA and the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris. Creating both beautiful spaces and furniture pieces, his work can be described as a fusion between Oriental design and Occidental styles.
#15 – Steve Leach
Steve Leach Group moved beyond just being the most established interior design consultancy firm in East Asia and increased their service offering with new expertise areas and partnerships to provide you with holistic answers. As a team, they create award-winning projects in interior, architectural and sustainable design that provide a fresh approach to each challenge.
#16 – Tadao Ando
Tadao Ando is a self-taught architect whose approach to architecture and landscape was categorized by architectural historian Francesco Dal Co as “critical regionalism”. He was raised in Japan and this country really shaped his style as an architect and designer through religion and other cultural aspects. Ando’s architectural style is said to create a “haiku” effect, emphasizing nothingness and empty space to represent the beauty of simplicity.
#17 – Tokujin Yoshioka
Born in 1967, the renowned designer worked under Shiro Kuramata and Issey Miyake, and established his own studio, Tokujin Yoshioka Inc. in 2000. Active in the fields of design, architecture and contemporary art, Tokujin Yoshioka is highly acclaimed globally with works themed in nature, which also reflect the Japanese idea of beauty. By giving figure to various human senses using materialistic elements such as light, Tokujin Yoshioka creates expressions that are unique and surpassing the concept of shape.
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#18 – Tokyo Ito
Born on the 1st of June in 1941, Toyo Ito is a Japanese architect known for creating conceptual architecture, in which he seeks to simultaneously express the physical and virtual worlds. He is a leading exponent of architecture that addresses the contemporary notion of a “simulated” city, and has been called “one of the world’s most innovative and influential architects.”
#19 – Wilson Associates
Known for creating current, iconic, must-experience spaces, Wilson Associates has been innovating hospitality design for luxury and boutique brands for nearly 50 years. Founded in 1971 by design legend Trisha Wilson, the renowned interior design firm offers a range of design services and specialty studios to meet clients’ needs in the ever-evolving hospitality industry.
#20 – Naoko Takenouchi
Naoko Takenouchi completed a four-year degree course in design and glassblowing at Tama Art University in Tokyo, while taking time to attend the New York Experimental Glass Workshop. Her work experience continued at the Swedish Center Foundation and in the New-Small & Sterling Glass Studio in Vancouver. Takenouchi was previously a restaurant designer in Tokyo and has now partnered up with Britain’s Marc Webb to form the integrated design firm – Takenouchi Webb.
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