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Interview with Makoto Koizumi

It’s not everyday you get an opportunity to meet a legendary designer, so on my commute to the Makoto Koizumi Studio on the east side of Tokyo, I remember feeling like I had the best job in the world at that particular moment.

Nestled between two professional buildings on a busy street, I am greeted by Makoto and his staff at the entrance of the studio. The train to Yaho Station took me at least 45mins from my hotel, so I had ample opportunity to google translate all the possible questions and greetings I would need for such a meeting. The actual encounter turned out to be more casual than expected, so much of what I was trying to memorize wasn’t necessary at all.

The Koizumi Studio is renowned in Japan for quality lifestyle products. The range of designs span a variety of categories, but what has continued to be its signature is an interesting interaction between material and function. I first came across his works about five years ago in a previous trip to Japan. It left me with the impression that each product had a unique personality and I’ve realized after meeting Makoto, that his wit, sensitivity and humor have always been imbued in all of his creations. During our conversation, Makoto himself mentions an old Japanese proverb… 

“Spare no trouble on anything you do, and put your whole heart into everything” 

The interview was conducted in English and Japanese. Both languages are published so as to not lose any meaning in translation for native readers.