Shiro Kuramata

Shiro Kuramata – Japanese Designer 1934 – 1991

Designers and Architects of 20th Century Furniture

Shiro Kuramata trained in architecture and later in cabinetmaking.

He was an interior designer as well as a furniture designer.

His design reflected the confidence and creativity of postwar Japan, he broke new ground in furniture design using innovative materials like acrylic, glass, wire mesh and corrugated aluminium whilst still maintaining a strong identity based on traditional Japanese aesthetics.

Shiro Kuramata combined the Japanese concept of art with his fascination in contemporary western cultures.

He joined the Memphis Group, inspired by Ettore Sottsass and his use of bright colors. Some of his pieces were produced by the Memphis Group.

Some examples of his work

Glass Chair 1976

Kyoto 1983

Apple Honey 1985

Hommage to Hoffman 1985

How High To the Moon 1986 – steel mesh chair

Shiro revaluated the standard relationship between form and function, and provided his own vision of the surreal and of minimalist ideals on common everyday pieces. His pieces of furniture were and still are exquisite with the meticulous craftsmanship and painstaking attention to minute details, derived from centuries old Japanese tradition.

Kuramata died in 1991, and currently his furniture pieces are in high demand fetching incredibly high prices at auction, this rates Kuramata amongst the most well sort after artists or designers of the 20th Century.

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