Gero Grundmann is a German-born, London-based designer. He is interested in inclusive, sustainable and narrative design. Grundmann develops products and installations with his wife and partner, designer Julia Lohmann and runs the London design office Studio Bec. He teaches at a number of UK design schools, has co-authored an MA-level design curriculum, written and led workshops and has worked as a mentor to design students and professionals in Europe and Asia. Grundmann holds an MA in Communication Art and Design from the Royal College of Art and a Diploma in Translation from the Chartered Institute of Linguists. He is a former Research Associate of the Helen Hamlyn Centre.
Photographer : Petr Krejci
Julia Lohmann is a German-born, London-based designer. She is inspired by the world outside established design disciplines as well as by unusual and undervalued natural and manmade materials. Lohmann builds collaborative networks to realise projects on the threshold between design, science and art which probe our attitudes towards the world that sustains us. Her objects and installations are exhibited worldwide and part of major private and public collections, such as in MoMA in New York. Lohmann holds degrees in Product and Graphic Design and teaches on the MA Design Products course at the Royal College of Art. She is a visiting lecturer at several UK and European design schools.
Photographer : Petr Krejci
Max Lamb (UK, 1980) grew up in a bucolic seaside town in Cornwall, England, an upbringing that imbued him with a love of nature and a creative spirit leading him to explore materials by re-contextualizing them in both conventional and unconventional ways. He exploits the inherent qualities of his materials and reconsiders their function. Lamb looks to design products that stimulate a positive three-way interaction between product, maker and user through a visual simplicity that effectively communicates the obvious.
After completing a degree in Three-Dimensional Design at Northumbria University, Lamb went on to receive a Master's Degree in Design Products from the Royal College of Art, London in 2006. A frequent lecturer and design workshop leader, Lamb currently lives in London where he continues to develop new designs that challenge the traditional concepts of the materials he uses and the processes with which he manipulates them.
Yuri Suzuki was born in Tokyo in 1980. Between 1999 and 2005 he worked for Japanese design firm Maywa Denki, where he developed a strong interest in music and technology. In 2005 he moved to London to study at the Royal College of Art. During this time there he worked on some projects for Yamaha, and after his graduation in 2008 he opened his own studio. Suzuki's work raises questions of the relation between sound and people and how music and sound affect people's mind. Yuri's sound art pieces and installations have been shown in exhibitions all around the world.
Japanese-born product designer Emiko Oki graduated from Buckingham Chilterns University College in 2004 with an MA in Furniture design and Technology. With strength and fragility reflected in her work, she looks to fuse European with Japanese ideas to transform neglected and dispensable everyday design into cherished, decorative objects. Apart from designing, she is an active journalist and coordinator and currently lives in Spitalfields, London.
Photographer : Satchiko Yatabe
Yamaha, established in Hamamatsu in Japan, has been producing musical instruments since its foundation in 1889. Today, Yamaha produces acoustic and digital musical instruments, professional audio equipment, hi-fi audio equipment, home theatre products and sports equipment.
In 1977, Furukomi was born into a lacquer-making family in Wajima. He was fascinated by the Chinkin technique, studying under Shinji Itaya, a famous Chinkin craftsman. In 1998, he became an independent Chinkin craftsman involved in all aspects of Wajima lacquer-making, such as design, painting, and decoration. He has taken part in group exhibitions, receiving nominations and winning many prizes and he actively introduces Chinkin techniques to the next generation. He is a member of the Wajima Craft Association and an Associate Member of Japanese Craft.
Photographer : Daniel Katz
Yoshinori Shibayama was born in Kanazawa-city, Ishikawa Prefecture in 1975. He graduated from the Crafts course at Ishikawa Engineering High School in 1988 and studied at the Training Institute of Wajima Lacquerware in Wajima from 1997 to 2000. Shibayama learnt the Chinkin technique from Kastuhiro Nishi between 2000 and 2003 and has exhibited works in many exhibitions throughout Japan.
Takeshi Wakamiya was born in Wajima-city, Ishikawa Prefecture in 1964. In 1984, he started working with lacquer and studied Maki-e decoration, lacquer undercoating, and dry lacquering techniques. In 1988, Wakamiya studied the Maki-e technique from Kiso Seizan and from 1990 he started planting lacquer trees for his own supply of sap. He regularly examines old techniques to apply to his own work, with the aim of passing these ideas down to the next generation. He is enthusiastic about finding the allure and beauty in Japanese lacquer ware.
Wakamiya has exhibited in Austria and Germany and in 2007, one of his works was chosen to become a part of the permanent collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Photographer : Daniel Katz
Hidetaka Wakashima was born in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture in 1963. Wakashima graduated Hosei University, Tokyo. In the same year Wakashima started learning lacquer techniques from his father. In 2005, he joined a group exhibition in Pola Museum, Tokyo and since 2006, through his own brand ’Rokuzo’ he is exploring new ways of creating lacquerware.
Akira Sugimura was born in 1965 in Osaka. From 1985, he studied at the Training Institute of Wajima lacquer ware setting up his studio in 1990. In 2007, he exhibited and demonstrated at the Hamilton Art Gallery in Australia and in 2008 at the International Asian Art Fair in New York.