naoto fukasawa brings integrated design program to tama art university
(above) ‘hanger’ by naoto fukasawa for galerie kreo
image courtesy of galerie kreo




naoto fukasawa‘s approach to design considers our common behaviors and integrates these familiar actions into the way we use the things around us, such that our interactions with them become second nature. in a world where objects are more often than not conceived to fill a particular hole or niche — ending up never really fully fitting into the missing puzzle piece they are supposed to occupy and serve — the japanese creative instead delivers products that harmonize the relationship between humans and their environment; re-establishing affordances that are not contrived, and which see us using our intuition to carry out design functions.

 naoto fukasawa tama art university designboom
packaging that looks like the fruit of the juice which it contains by naoto fukasawa




our bodies are more honest than our minds,’ says fukasawa, and subconsciously when we see particular mechanisms and elements, we know how to use and interact with them. this is derived from our active memory whereby we remember things without thinking and needing to make an effort to record them in our minds. fukasawa employs this psychology in order to create schemes that are sympathetic and seamless, where ‘design is dissolved from behavior‘. it is with this mentality that he is able to bring forth devices and products that while being ‘new’ to the market, feel as though you have already been acquainted with them before.

naoto fukasawa integrated design tama art university designboom
wall-mounted CD player by naoto fukasawa for MUJI which works just like turning a fan on-and-off




having taught at the tama art university in japan since 1997, naoto fukasawa introduced his ‘integrated design’ approach in spring of 2014 at the institution, heading the newly established department. the program seeks to deliver a curriculum that teaches designers to hone their abilities to generate systems that act as an extension of the body, without interrupting space; and where aesthetics are not only applicable to configuration or shape, but also to the physical connection between the user and the object — creating a beautiful composition where form is not existing in itself, but in our reactions and conduct as well.



naoto fukasawa on design as second nature
video courtesy of design indaba



fukasawa seeks to conceive designs in which the body communicates with the environment without thinking, whereby your being is coordinated and in balance with its surroundings, understanding what is good or bad for you. he has a particular sensibility and awareness for homogenizing his work into our material world on a physical and psychological level.


my products are already in your mind, you just have not seen them yet.’ – naoto fukasawa