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ON design is a Yokohama-based design firm that was found in 2004 by Osamu Nishida. Nishida graduated from Yokohama National University in 1999, and his first venture as a principal was a studio he founded the same year, Speed. Nishida later returned to his studies and after obtaining a graduate degree founded ON design. Nishida has since gone on to serve as an educator and instructor at Kanagawa University, Yokohama National University and Tokyo University of Science, in addition to leading the creative efforts of ON design.
ON design has smallish team (10 employees) of twenty- and thirtysomethings. That is to say the firm has a young team who are passionate about design and making a name form themselves. The firm’s team has successfully implemented residential, commercial, and product designs across Japan. ON design-ed spaces are modern and urban, and sensitive to their setting and environment. On all projects Nishida encourages his capable team to “push the scope of their imagination” and not take any materials, or their values, for granted. As such, ON design’s projects uniquely combine materials, often into a harmonious configuration of public and private spaces.
The firm’s recent project Yokohama Apartments is a prime example of the public/private balance the ON design team can achieve. Working with a small parcel of land, in an area of Yokohama “covered by urban development disaster,” the ON design team was able to create a bright inviting communal space that will inspire creativity. Within the same small parcel there are also four private residences that provide a setting for quite introspection. The firm’s Roppongi-like “farm”, nestled into the urban fabric of Tokyo, represents another interesting interplay between uses, in this case urban and agrarian.