Right and Exact



Japanese designer Oji Masanori approaches everyday objects with a meticulous eye for detail. His company, Oji & Design, works with manufacturers to produce understated, brilliant every day houseware tools. Life+Times caught up with Mr. Masanori for a quick chat to discuss his approach to design, collaborative work and choice materials.

Life+Times: How do you apply principles of architecture to produce design?
Oji Masanori
: Products spend more time waiting and sitting still than being used. I design products “spatially,” so that they are balanced with the scenes and other objects surrounding them.

L+T: What is your process like to designing a new object? You’ve designed everything from bottle openers to brooms. Where do the ideas come from?
: I look for connections or links between household things that I would like to improve for better life and original technologies that the makers possess. I have inspirations on the airplane going back home after meetings with the makers.

L+T: How do you approach collaborative work? Can you describe some of the most successful collaborations?
: I get acquainted with Japanese craftsmakers through introduction by my friends most of the time. I always dine together with the president to see if I would like to do that again with him or her. When I work with those with whom I feel I would like to dine together, I can do a good job.

L+T: You do all of your packaging and detail. Why do you like to be involved in every part of the development process?
: The package and the ways the product are seen in a retail setting are important in expressing the background and the atmosphere behind the product. Designing all including the package is one way to express exactly that.

L+T: What are some of your favorite materials?
: All genuine materials which change their faces over time. I try to keep away from plastics.