Director, Design Engineer at takram, which is a creative and innovation firm based in Tokyo and consists of a group of talented 'design engineers:' creative professionals fluent in both creative design and technical engineering.
An award-winning design engineer, author, and entrepreneur, Kotaro Watanabe co-founded Surroundings Co., Ltd., a company that attempts to promote new lifestyles and values through innovative furniture and stationery design, whilst still in Keio University SFC. After partaking in government-funded fellowship programme in EU countries, he joined takram in 2007. Kotaro covers a wide array of projects from Concept Development and Service Design to future UI/UX and Speculative Design. Among his representative works are Toshiba's OVERTURE exhibited at the Milano Salone, the UI designs for NTT Docomo's "iconcieru", "iwidget" and "ichannel", and the "Furin" (wind-bell) exhibition for Okamura held jointly with architect Toyoo Ito. His recent works include "Creative Collision," a dinner event with Dom Pérignon, "Hitohi," Japanese confectionery with Toraya, Brand movie for Andaz Tokyo, and so on. Has structured his own theory of "striking a balance between the making of things and the story" based on numerous projects. An author of "Storyweaving," Kotaro delivers lectures and workshops worldwide; he is currently a visiting faculty of the Hong Kong Design Centre's Institute of Design Knowledge (IDK) and has received many awards including Germany's red dot award 2009.
"furumai" water toy, 2007 (Photos by Takashi Mochizuki)
"Fu-rin" installation, 2008
"flower" letter paper, 2005
"OVERTURE" installation in Milano Salone, 2009