Tokujin’s work is characterized by an extraordinary attentiveness to detail and the development of an exploratory process unique unto him. His original use of materials and methodology have resulted in exceptional forms and several design icons, such as Honey Pop chair, a chair made of honeycomb paper, precursor to the Tokyo Pop series in polypropylene.
Tokujin Yoshioka studied at Kuwasawa Design School in Tokyo, briefly working for furniture designer Shiro Kuramata before spending four years working with fashion designer Issey Miyake, for whom he designed retail interiors and exhibitions. Yoshioka says his mentors were both similar kinds of artists, innately curious and always looking to fundamental elements when they worked — qualities Yoshioka himself shares. As for his own work, he states that, ‘My success criteria is if children understand it or not.’
Established in 2000, Yoshioka’s studio has produced design for Miyake, Nissan, BMW and Shiseido, Hermes and Peugeot. While he is best known abroad for his furniture and for products, Yoshioka is better known in Japan for his interiors as well as his exhibition and event projects.
During the 2006 Milan Design Week, Yoshioka’s Pane chair, made of a translucent spongy material called polyester elastomer and baked in an oven like bread, stood out as an incredible display of aesthetic lightness and sensual tactility.’ And in 2008, he created ‘Snow Flower’ to be exhibited and auctioned at PaperLove, a Luminaire event held to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. In ‘Snow Flower,’ small flowers come together as snow flakes gather in a whiteout. Delicate and precious, ‘Snow Flower’ demonstrates how the smallest piece adds beauty and rhythm to the unified whole.