Tomo Kimura, Japan
Tokyo-born product designer Tomo Kimura’s creations are a flawless blend of Japan’s minimalist aesthetic and fine Italian artisanship – spiked with an unconventional spirit. The 43-yearold graduated with a degree in human sciences, but subsequently spent more than a decade in Italy where he nursed his love for design. There, he achieved a diploma in interior design from Accademia Cappiello in 2002 and a diploma in product design from Istituto Europeo di Design in 2009. In Turin, he worked with advertising and design studios, restoring modern antique furniture such as a 1956 Augusto Bozzi chair, and developing his own projects.
His most notable creation is perhaps Twitty, a door handle that was one of the winning entries for the ‘hands on door handles’ competition jointly organised by Designboom and Italy’s Colombo Design in 2011. Crafted in the shape of a perching bird, the handle was made through a complex ancient technique of casting molten metal inside a damp clay sand mould.
Kimura returned to Japan three years ago, where he now holds a day job at a company specialising in engineering and manufacturing ground, marine, and aerospace vehicles. However, he continues to hone his craft, creating minimalist masterpieces such as the Floating Oak Console Table and the ORCA endless modularity table.