It is known that Italy is the land of the beautiful form. Whether in fashion or furniture or automobiles – this much is known. What happens when beautiful Japanese simplicity contributes to the Italian idea as far back as 1963?
You were born and raised in Tokyo – you graduated from the City’s University of Arts, why did you choose a life in design?
At that time I wanted to follow an idealist thought, typical of youth. It seemed possible to me, through the design, to improve the quality of life in a democratic way, exploiting the power of industry and technology. Driven by a youthful sense of justice, I wanted to be useful to the social development. Operating in design seemed suitable to my sensitivity because combining my artistic attitude to my pragmatic side.
While working for Seiko you designed a set of clocks that were used at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, how did you feel about that at the time?
While attending the last university period, I won an important design contest, which brought me some job assignments like this. I was very proud of developing a project for the Tokyo Olympics. Unfortunately, however, once I nished it, I decided to leave for Italy, so I could not attend the great Olympics event.
In 1963 you moved to Italy – why did you choose this country?
When I was in Japan I often used to watch architecture and design magazines like
Casabella, Domus. The sensations that the images of the Italian magazines conveyed to me had an incomparable charm. So I decided that Italy was my destination.
You set up one of Italy’s rst studios for industrial design – what did you notice was the gap in the market?
When I arrived in Italy, I worked for the first 4 years at the Bonetto studio. There, I had a professional experience that allowed me to develop various aspects (improvement of my sensorial perception, search for authenticity ...). When I founded my own studio, I was able to express my vision about design, more focused on the social sense. My personal feelings and vision have been very important.
In 1982 you launched the very successful MH Way – what do you think was the key to the rare success you achieved as a design company?
After four years of activity with my design studio, so with quite a knowledge about the process around a new product development process, I founded MHWay. The key of its success has probably been my will to perceive the value of the project and follow it freely. There are always many doubts before nishing a project, but if despite everything your belief about it still wins, it’s worth trying.
Makio Hasuike & Co. is truly interdisciplinary – what is needed to deliver successfully in Architecture, Product and Communication design?
First, a vision of the future and tomorrow. A constant mix of input that stimulate my imagination and a deep research to understand what can make the environment and life better. In addition, it is necessary to be continuously updated with technology.
What would you say have been your design philosophies and approach?
Simplify and lighten. Be stimulated by new events and discoveries, and at the same time re ect on things that don’t change. Follow the instinct, what I like or not.
In over 40 years of working with leading Italian and International companies – what has been the key for you to staying ahead?
Everything is the result of the work done with companies and the good relationships grown with customers during collaborations.
“Directing an orchestra, a composition made of space and light, constraints and needs, dreams and visions. Whether for a unique occasion or for everyday purpose, architecture is an evolving idea.” Please explain more:
Situations, thoughts, possibilities ... nothing stops. Each project is a combination of many factors. There are not two that are the same. Each project is a unique opportunity.
Makio Hasuike & Co. has provided internship to some of today’s major design stars – what does your company look for in its design employees?
Each employee has different qualities. In general, they should be curious, should have the capacity to listen and analyze, should have patience and pay attention to their work. In addition, in recent years, the knowledge and the ability to use software has become important.
A LIFE IN DESIGN
Makio Hasuike was born on 20th January 1938 in Tokyo. Graduating from the Tokyo University of the Arts in 1962, Makio Hasuike began his professional career in Japan by working for one year with Seiko: he designed a set of clocks and timers for the Tokyo Olympic Games, held in 1964. In 1963 he established himself in Italy, working in different elds of industrial design. In 1968 he set up his own studio in Milan, one of the rst studios of Industrial Design in Italy. In 1982 he created MH Way, an experimental project aimed at conceiving and marketing some innovative products such as bags and briefcases. This thorough design activity directly confronted him with all the aspects connected with production and distribution. The company, still active today, is a rare example of a successful “design company”. In over 50 years of activity he has been collaborating with several Italian and international companies, in various elds, contributing to their success through design solutions that are innovative in terms of appearance and contents.
Makio Hasuike & Co. works in a wide range of design: from high technology instruments and tools to work and spare time accessories, from small and large household appliances to furniture and home accessories, from brand identity and packaging to Exhibition Design. Clients include 3M, BVLGARI, Chicco, Gaggia, Kohler, Lavazza, NEC, Nescafe, Panasonic, WMF and Villeroy & Boch. Its projects have obtained many prestigious prizes and acknowledgements, such as “Compasso d’oro”, “Macef”, “Triennale”, “Smau”, “Bio” (Ljubljana), “Design plus” (Frankfurt), “Design Preis” (Stuttgart), “Design Innovation” (Essen), and they continue to be displayed in permanent exhibitions like the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) of New York.
Makio Hasuike is one of the members of the founding committee of the Master in Strategic Design at the Polytechnic of Milan. In 2016 he received the Compasso d’Oro Lifetime Achievement Award.
7 Quotes from MAKIO HASUIKE