"I'm interested in something beyond the visible or touchable, that is, the existence within the invisible. Throughout the 20th century, we have placed too much emphasis on the visible, considering that they are only concrete things."
A leading designer in Japan, Shigeru Uchida's activities encompass a wide range of areas including interior design, furniture and industrial design, architecture and urban planning. In 1970 he established the Uchida Design Studio, and in 1981 established 'Studio 80' with Toru Nishioka. Uchida cites the influences of Mies van der Rohe and Shiro Kuramata as instrumental in shaping his thinking.
His belief in design as a reconciliatory force between people, society and nature permeates much of his work and is reflected in projects such as the Hotel II Palazzo in Fukuoka. Other notable projects include interiors for Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto; the Kboe Fahion Museum; and the recently completed Mojiko Hotel, in collaboration with the late Aldo Rossi.
His products and furnishings all seek to blend and harmonize cultural legacies with design. Indicative of this integrative philosophy is Paper Moon, his collection of paper lanterns introduced for the first time in the United States at Luminaire. Uchica's works are included in the permanent collections of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts and others.
Besides teaching at his alma mater since 1973, Uchida is a Guest Professor at Tokyo Zokei University. He has received the Mainichi design Award, the Education Minister's Art Encouragement Award and the Shonankyo Design Award grand prize, among others.
In June 2006, Uchida revealed the influence of Japan in his works and others in an enlightening lecture presentation at Luminaire, with a reception following in the Chicago showroom where his Paper Moon series debuted. For the 2006 Puppy Love exhibition and auction at Luminaire, Uchida transformed a 3D plastic puppy into a sublime and hauntingly beautiful object coated in polyethylene to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. And in 2008, he participated in the second incarnation of the 'Love' series, PaperLove, but offering 'Can't Give You Anything But Love', a perfect square box of paper, to raise funds to find a cure for cancer.