11.2016: Design Talking: Tomoko Azumi and her collaboration with Zilio A&C

CLAUDIA OVAN: How did your passion for design begin?
TOMOKO AZUMI: When I was a child, collecting house plans from property agent adverts, delivered with newspaper. I made a scrap book full of house plans in which I would have liked to live in the future. So I started to study architecture, designed houses, then now furniture and retail interiors.

CO: What is design for you?
TA: The profession I have chosen! I have fun in thinking, even if it’s tough sometimes.

CO: What is your main source of inspiration? How are your projects born?
TA: It depends on the project. First I analyze client’s expectations to be evoked with the product, then how to merge it to function and user’s everyday life.

CO: What is the common denominator of all your projects?
TA: Focus on one thing, simple, elegant, not waste materials.

CO: How is your collaboration with Zilio A&C ?
TA: Always good, sincere and open to discussions.

CO: How free do you think one is to design nowadays? Are there sectors or contexts that allow greater freedom?
TA: The designer is not free from client’s expectations and material limitations of furniture design.

CO: Can design be democratic? If it can, how?
TA: If the price of designed object is fair and more people can access it, then the design makes people’s life brighter. That would be democratic, I think.
What I do with Zilio A&C is very democratic – we try to reduce costs for making and transport, to bring Zilio A&C’s product as far as it gets.

CO: What design objects are by your side during your everyday life, in your studio and at home?
TA: I always have by my side my MacBook Pro – the quality of some of its parts are not as good as 5 years ago, though!

CO: In your opinion, what is the function of design?
TA: Enhance one’s life by improving the objects’ functionality and make the landscape appear more harmonious.

CO: Describe your job in three words.
TA: Analyse, find an answer, give a balance…can’t say it in just three words!