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Oji & Design

Form and function meet in a Japanese architect's beautifully understated housewares

by Karen Day in Design on 24 August 2011

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Japanese designer Oji Masanori makes everyday living more comfortable, designing a range of objects in various materials that are as refined as they are functional. Graduating with degree in architecture, Masanori seemingly applies those tactics to building small objects, starting with the foundation and allowing the beauty of its shape to lead the design.

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His studio, Oji & Design, works with Japan's preeminent manufacturers to ensure the quality he instills during the initial design isn't lost during production. Spanning bottle openers ($40), lighting pendants ($450) and a knife keeper ($300), for his brass objects Masanori collaborated with the metal workers at Futagami in Toyama-Takaoka City, who have over a century of experience with hand-casting objects that will develop a distinctly beautiful patina over time.

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The young designer looked to the skilled woodworker Hidetoshi Takahashi to craft the Bagel trivets ($80), who meticulously carved Japanese maple, cherry or walnut into perfectly round trivets with smooth flat bottoms. The bagels are great for their intended purpose or as wall decorations when hung by the attached leather string.

Masanori carries out his concepts to the very last detail, doing all of the graphic work and packaging himself. Oji & Design objects sell at various retailers around Japan, and online at Merchant No. 4 and Mjölk.

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