Product: Fukasawa Monograph by Phaidon
Rating: Strong Recommend*
(This is from our guest tester, Naoto O., who won this book with her great comment in this post. Thanks, Naoto!)
"...There's no better access to his work than this remarkable book. I highly recommend it for anyone loves truly great design."
"I remember when I first saw the CD player Naoto Fukusawa designed for MUJI in 1999. I was shocked by its pure simplicity, and how natural it felt. It got to the core of a music player's purpose and made me completely rethink what a CD player can be..."
"Finally, I thought, someone who really thinks differently, who brings the Japanese sense of design to another level. Whoever designed it was able to bring out its music even when it was turned off and, as a result, brought out its beauty in a way I've always wanted to see someone do. At that time I had no idea who Naoto was, but MUJI became my favorite company, mainly because of his designs. Back home in New York, I wasn't surprised to see it had become part of MOMA's permanent collection.
This book goes through his extensive portfolio of designs he's created for companies like SEIKO, HITACHI, ISSEY MIYAKE, BOFFI, B&B ITALIA, and many others. Reading his thoughts on where his ideas come from and what he feels matters most not only gave me great insight to his work, but it also helped me understand why I've always reacted to his work so strongly, why it lingers with me.
His process goes deep into what seems like a dissection of how the human subconscious might feel or remember about a particular item and expands from there. Whether it's a CD player or a humidifier, Naoto brings a unique, yet comforting impression to each piece in a way I've never seen from another product designer.
Naoto Fukusawa Design was established in 2003, and he continues to make inspiring designs today. He also set up +- 0 (plusminuszero), a home appliance brand in Japan where he gets to design for the best client anyone can have: themselves.
Luckily for New Yorkers, MUJI is opening their first U.S. store here at the end of 2007. Muji (meaning "no brand" in Japanese) is any clean-simple-smart design lovers dream store. Finally we'll be able to easily find Naoto's incredible products—use them without a converter! Until then, though, there's no better access to his work than this remarkable book.
I highly recommend it for anyone loves truly great design."
- Naoto O. (an AT reader and volunteer tester)
ps. I was lucky enough to receive a print of NAOTO FUKUSAWA's book from Apartment Therapy. The catch was I had to write a review, which wouldn't be an issue except for the fact that I'm not a writer. I do love design though, and have admired his work for years, so hopefully that will be enough to let me do this book justice.