Design Guide: Tokyo

An insider’s look at the cutting-edge design scene in Japan’s capital city.

mizmiz design
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Tokyo’s Home-Grown Design Star

Kenji Mizuno, owner of Mizmiz Design, trained as an architect before shifting his focus to reimagined objects, like the Cake table pictured.

Q: How would you describe Tokyo’s design aesthetic right now?

A: Simple, minimalist and compact—cool with some kawaii, or cuteness. The modern Japanese way of designing involves details from old times updated with new materials rather than things like traditional Japanese lacquer.

Q: What is your next project?

A: It’s a family Buddhist altar, called a butsudan. My version will be simple and made in collaboration with the woodcraft team Moconoco, which also produced my kamidana.

Q: What are some design standouts in Tokyo today?

A: A meal at Shunju Yurari [designed by Super Potato] is fun, because you can eat in a room filled with light that feels like sunshine filtering through foliage. I go to Omotesando and Daikanyama frequently for inspiration. And the Dior building designed by SANAA in Omotesando symbolizes Tokyo: It has the same softness and translucency as Japanese paper.

At 1-6-15-301 Sekimachi-kita, Nerima-ku; mizmizdesign.com.