Post 4 – Japan – Masayuki Kurokawa


 Masayuki Kurokawa

Born in Nagoya, Japan in 1937 is  one of Japan’s  best known architects and designers.

 Kurokawa trained as an architect completing doctoral course at Waseda University’s Graduate School of Architecture, and set up his architectural practice in 1967.  While  Masayuki  originally found acclaim with his architecture, in more recent times he has found recognition in furniture and home wares design and design innovation. 

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Kurokawa  was responsible for creating a new  era of Japanese design the result of combining  both eastern and western design aesthetic to create a distinctive  minimalist, elegant style he has applied to  a range of products:

  • illuminated bathtubs
  • faucets
  • watches
  • stationery
  • outdoor lamps 
  • doorknobs
  • jewelry
  • lighting
  • his original knockdown furniture , bookshelves, writing bureaus and chairs epitomizes the minimalist approach of Japanese designers


Design Philosophy

Kurokawa feels he helps materials to assert a life of their own….by giving them “shape and function”.

He gave mundane objects like ashtrays, coasters and pens a rubber coating , simple minimalist shape, and in so doing gave them a unique edge (see Image).

He is famous for collaborations with giant Japanese furniture making company  Maruni,  showcasing innovative simple chair designs in wood by 12 designers from around the world. 

Innovation Continues

  •  Aluminum Honeycomb Hybrid Table –“creates harmony of the warm Japanese wood design combined with new innovative technology, unique color and strength of aluminum honeycomb panel”.  The knockdown structure is the most important feature of our table”.
  • Pianno Black table (see image). The table’s legs are decorated with a black mirror coating, so the table legs change depending upon the angle you view them from crating an effect of invisibility.
  • Kurokawa is an innovator in design – creating a website that invites designers from around the world  to submit their ideas to distributors world wide- providing exposure they may not otherwise receive.

 His works won many design awards including G-MARK,Good Design Award, IF design award in Germany . Several of his works are displayed in the permanent design collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, in the Denver Art Museum, and Metropolitan Museum of Art.



Image References:



1.Ashtray and Lighter in Black ( as shown) – MoMA New York

2.Wooden inlay Trays

3.Black Lounge Chair

4.Streamlined Lamp

5.Small wooden table

6.Balloon spice Jars

7.Wood chair for maruni


General References:



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