When craftsmanship and architectural expertise collide, spaces like the KAMA-ASA Shop are born. The mind behind this creation, Masahiro Yoshida, is no stranger to the world of design, having charted a path rich in experience and innovation since his academic years at the Kyoto Institute of Technology.
Masahiro’s journey in design is deeply influenced by his surroundings and the stories they weave. The KAMA-ASA Shop is no exception. Here, he paints a tribute to the artisans whose agile hands and keen eyes mould functional kitchen tools. Rather than cover his space in ornate adornments, he strips it back, placing the focus on raw materials like rebar, typically concealed within a structure’s heart. This distinctive approach underscores the very ethos of KAMA-ASA: celebrating purposeful craft.
We will now delve into an interview with the designer himself, Masahiro Yoshida, as we explore the intriguing story behind the creation of the Shop.
Could you tell us a little about your professional journey?
I was born in 1977 in Osaka, Japan. In 2001, I graduated from the Department of Architecture, Kyoto Institute of Technology “Waro Kishi Laboratory”, and I joined TAKARA SPACE DESIGN the same year. I established KAMITOPEN Architects in 2008, an architecture office firm centred around Interior Design.
How did you discover that you wanted to work in design?
I chose my career path when I was in high school.
What was your inspiration to create KAMA-ASA Shop?
I was inspired by the craftsmen who make kitchen knives. As KAMA-ASA Shop’s policy is set on the belief that good tools are made for good reason, it delivers to the customers the excellent skills of craftsmen creating kitchen utensils. Therefore, the most appropriate for the shop’s space was to show the architectural skills of craftsmen. The rebar, a stick-shaped rolled steel that is usually hidden in the wall became the main feature of the design.
What was most essential for you when planning this project?
Since the renovation 10 years ago led to this new construction project, the 10-year commitment of the client and staff was most important.
Can you please share with us what winning the “Interior Design of the Year” prize means to you?
We are pleased to have been recognized for the work we have done over the past 10 years with our clients. It encourages us to continue to work with the same stance for the next 10 years.
What are you working on at the moment, and do you have any upcoming project or upgrade that you’re able to tell us about?
I am currently designing a solo sauna facility. It is a space where you can feel the outside environment while being indoors, using the latest technology. I am interested in eliminating the boundary between indoors and outdoors.
Recognition arrived for Masahiro Yoshida and his KAMITOPEN team with the BLT 2022 Interior Design of the Year award. The award affirms their dedicated efforts over a decade and validates their design philosophy. However, to Masahiro, this honour is more than just a symbol of past achievements; it’s a stepping-stone into an exciting future.
On the design table, Masahiro is now planning a solo sauna facility that promises a unique user experience. His aim? To dissolve the boundaries that traditionally demarcate the indoors from the outdoors, while weaving in the benefits of modern technology. As this new venture unfolds, it’s evident that Masahiro Yoshida continues to chart new territories in design, constantly redefining what interior spaces can communicate and evoke. His narrative continues, and we eagerly anticipate the chapters yet to be written.