Interview: Kensaku Oshiro

  • Japanese-born and Milan-based designer Kensaku Oshiro is an exact compilation of being born with, and achieving greatness. Hot off the press is his nomination by design dignitary and mentor Piero Lissoni as one of six Italian emerging designers at this year’s Maison&Objet Paris. The award tops a long list of international accolades and exhibitions recognising the young designer’s talent globally.

    Following a master’s degree in Industrial Design at the Scuola Politecnica di Design in Milan in 1999, Kensaku Oshiro has worked with a number of studios, as part of the team at Lissoni Associati and London’s BarberOsgerby. Out of this success, Kensaku decided to take the leap of faith in 2015 and open his own Milan studio. It’s safe to say the designer has never looked back.

    Kensaku Oshiro’s first visit to Australia was marked by Denfair Melbourne in 2017, where he launched the Holo range for Kristalia at Fanuli. The design of the Holo Dining Table is a credit to Kensaku’s creativity and Kristalia’s technology, adding another feather to Kensaku’s already overflowing design cap. We had the pleasure of speaking to Maison&Objet’s rising star, reflecting on Kensaku Oshiro’s accomplished approach and his opinions of design down-under.

    Tell us a little bit about your background and how you came to design.

    I was born on Okinawa island in Japan and grew up in Osaka city. From young age I was interested to create things, and when I was 15 years old I discovered Italian design and was totally attracted to its world for the variety of idea and the freedom I found behind these products. This lead me to study design in Milano at the age of 19.

    Having lived in Japan, Milan and London, how have each of these places influenced your approach to design? I have absorbed different perceptions of lifestyle and behavior through the experiences of living in these places. Probably now I’m more sensitive to understanding these differences.

    Your works are distinct in form yet also explore the nuances of materiality. Does one lead the other in your design process? They are are not lead one by one – rather the material, technology and form should be developed reciprocally and connected in an essential way.

    Is there a design of yours that best represents your creative approach? Why?

    It is difficult to say a specific product which represents my creativity – I am always interested in finding new ideas and new approaches.

    What excites you most about the future of design?

    Living space in the space.

    Having recently visited Australia, what is your opinion of Australian design? Any particular brands or designers you think are interesting or notable? I found there was a notable influence of European design in Australia. Fanuli, Space Furniture and District have very nice collections and Australian brand “Nau” was particularly interesting.

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