Yearly Archives: 2016


Lecture at Politecnico di Milano “Made with Heart and Soul”

Toshiyuki Kita held a open class lecture at Politecnico di Milano on Novemeber 8th,2016, with special guest Enrico Baleri, on the theme “Made with Heart and Soul” about design and his lifework collaboration with various Japanese traditional craftsmanship.

Open Class Lecture: “Made with Heart and Soul”
Lecturer: Toshiyuki Kita
Special guest : Enrico Baleri

Venue: November 8th, 2016 9:30am- at Politecnico di Milano



Toshiyuki Kita Exhibition “IL LUSSO DELLA NATURA” / Chiesa Di San Domenico [ALBA,Italy]

Kita’s exhibition “IL LUSSO DELLA NATURA” was held at Chiesa Di San Domenico in ALBA,Italy,
a 14th century old church located in central Alba near northern Italy of TURIN.
General supervision by Bertone Design office in Milan.

This was held in succession to Kita’s exhibition “Timeless Future” on June of 2014 in Barolo Castle of Piemonte,Italy,
a pre-MilanoEXPO2015 event.












Robohelper SASUKE

“Older the society becomes, the more human kindness is required”.
This was the design theme for this new and innovating nursing care product, SASUKE. To incorporate the need for everyday nursing care environment and to lessen the burden for all involved, Muscle Corporation’s intelligent motor “COOL MUSCLE” was used for this new design approach to transfer aid system in nursing care. Designed and developed with global requirements needed for nursing care in mind, with minimum compact size and maneuver area, SASUKE is capable of lifting the care receiver just like being embraced in both arms from below and then carried and transferred with ease and kindness. The maneuver by the care taker is very simple and instinctive by turning and tilting the grip to the direction the care worker wants to move, to which the SASUKE responds simultaneously. Adoption of battery pack and caster wheels for light-weight and ease of movement. SASUKE’s leg width is designed to be wide enough to get close to the wheelchair as possible, so the transfer aid from “Bed-to-Wheelchair-to-Bed” will become very easy.


Toshiyuki Kita : “Exploration of Design 1969- / Why I went to Italy to Design”

(Gakugei Shuppan-Sha Publisher, 2012)

Having lived and experienced almost half a century of Italian design, the author
recollects and puts forth, true meaning of a rich and fruitful life and what
the role of design should be. He also mentions the life after WWII in Japan,
and its sad results of restoration of Japanese living lifestyle now in a essay style book.




A chair designed for the Seville Expo ’92 Japanese Pavilion.
The high-tech technology available at that time was used to create an organic form, with the intent of expressing both a futuristic feeling and a sense of intimacy.
This work was consciously designed with the understanding that the Expo is a place to raise suggestions for the near future and to express what modern Japan is about.



This television was designed based on the idea of making it, as a household use item, dear to its user’s hearts.

Moving beyond existing LCD televisions of a hard, cold, and inorganic design, expression was incorporated in parts organically connected to the surface and into the details as well.

Kita aimed to create a Japanese original that would become popular worldwide as a new brand item.



The latent animal instinct and playfulness that humans possess is set free in a small space.

These sofas were designed based on the thinking that, even if living environments change, basic human movements such as sitting and lying down remain unchanged.

It’s possible to sit, lie down, find one’s own place, and climb.

These pieces have been named after Saruyama (Monkey Mountain), which they resemble, and are divided into three unchangeable shapes but can be put together to form one large round sofa.



A table designed to seem as if it might come running up, whistling. “KICK” was made to go along with the “WINK” chair and is a full of memories for Kita, who came up with the idea at Italian company Cassina’s Development Department and then quickly constructed a prototype based on the rough freehand design he made there. When “KICK” was released, it was chosen for the MOMA collection. The tabletop can be raised and lowered, as well as rotated and freely moved according to use. Expression is born from the assembly of inorganic materials, shape, and function.



A lamp made of handmade washi paper. Handmade washi is light, strong, doesn’t change color, flexible, and pervious to light. Treating an old material like washi as a new one creates harmony in the space where East and West meet.
This work places great importance on the gentle, delicate texture of washi, especially the wrinkles and folds that inevitably appear with the passing of time.



Because the goal of this piece from inception was for it to be recyclable, the seat and back are made of plastic, the legs of aluminum, and the frame of steel. Kita was asked to create a product that can be constructed within 24 hours using a automatic molding equipment.

Strength tests of the production model easy chair took two years, and the resulting folding chair created Magis’ image for the 90’s.



Can be used as a sofa, bed, or chaise lounge.

This bed-shaped sofa, through a gas cylinder mechanism, can be freely adjusted and transformed into a place ideal for resting, chatting, or sleeping.

In addition, the legs are fitted with wheels for easy movement.



This recliner is constructed of three exterior frames made of laminated wood with soft fabric and leather attached, is based on the theory of balance, and rotates 360 degrees.

A patent pending double spring system makes smooth transitions between postures possible, and the body can be moved freely into a variety of positions.



It is possible, through a design with character and originality, to create a worldwide image of the rice cooker.

Variations include polished stainless steel, white, and light yellow.

This rice cooker for the new era features three functions ideal for the modern world: white race for easy sushi, Italian risotto, and healthy steamed foods.



“Kitayama-sugi” cedar from Kyoto has been prized as a high class material and used for over six hundred years in tea houses and “sukiya” style architecture. The impressively formed trees, known for their straight trunks, can be considered a work of art in themselves.

The TRONCO series was born from an attempt to return tokobashira (ornamental alcove posts), which have long been used as a symbol of the natural world in traditional Japanese interiors, to contemporary spaces. These benches and chairs have a simple design that efficiently utilizes materials and retains the strong, gentle qualities of Kitayama-sugi cedar. Recycled aluminum is also incorporated into the legs and backs. The straightforward, modern design of these pieces is neither Japanese nor Western, and can be featured both in private homes and commercial spaces.

* “Tronco” means “log” in Italian.


Shouji Kekkai An

As a memory and reminder for the Japanese Tatami soul and culture, built using only natural materials, this 3 and a half tatami-sized space “Shouji Kekkai An” can be put together and taken apart for easy assembly and stow away, a perfect atomosphere for a tea cermony, or as a guest room. The basis for this furniture, the Ceremony Space, was exhibited in 1987 as an invitation piece at the 10th anniversary of the Pompidou Centre in Paris.



Exhibited in 1987 as an invitation piece at the 10th anniversary of the Pompidou Centre in Paris. This two-mat space is made from lacquered wood pillars and tatami mats, meaning it is constructed entirely of plants. Displayed as a memory of the culture of tatami and culture of the heart, it is a 1.8 cubic meter universe unto itself. Sitting inside it is somehow calming and allows the viewer to keenly experience a meditative space.



Simple lamps that consist merely of a washi paper sheets affixed to a frame that, instead of being confined to one location, can be used in a variety of places including set on the floor or hung.
The rubber parts that make the frame rigid also make the cord rigid as well, and the frame can be folded up compactly.



A series completed in response to a request from 7 Arita-yaki pottery studios. Seeking to create vessels that become the chef’s canvas and can be used for either Japanese, Western, or Chinese cuisine, these pieces received high marks both within Japan and overseas and are used in hotels and restaurants.



The softness and warmth of the brightness of washi paper calms the heart. Here, washi is reborn as a solid body. Kita worked towards a design that is also adaptable to modern lifestyles, wanting to create a harmony of its brightness and express the warmth of its form. The shade is an organic, free form and the frame is a sharp shape that contrasts with the shade, creating an accent for the body.