Takeda Katsuya's personal and professional journey between Japan and Italy triggered new visions and designs influenced by multiple cultural, artistic, and stylistic perspectives. A passion for Italy and its architecture was behind the designer's desire to move to Italy, initially to Florence to specialise in architecture and then to Milan – the city of fashion and design – where he began his career.
The Takeda Katsuya Design architecture studio was founded in 2014 by the Japanese designer Takeda Katsuya along with his wife – the artist and painter Iida Takako. The studio recently inaugurated its workspace and exhibition showroom in the heart of Milan: a 150 m² space exposed to the historical Via del Torchio through large windows. The TKD studio, which today consists of a team of six architects and designers, deals mainly with interior design, product design, concept design, retail planning and turnkey project management. Its consolidated experience lies mainly in the fields of high-end fashion retail, catering, luxury residences and accommodation, with projects all over Italy and Japan.
"Design Atmosphere" is at the heart of the designer's philosophy as a continuous search for shapes, colours and materials to create moods and sensations. Design Atmosphere is a distinctive feature of Takeda Katsuya, who loves to experiment with design concepts that meet the practical needs of both the space and its customers. Each project is distinguished by a concept idea that matches the client's identity to define environments that represent their values and style.
The work of the TKD studio involves mostly interior design, meaning the creative direction and designing of interiors. But they also specialise in graphic design – the study of brand identity in graphic design communication – and product design. The latter includes the design of custom-made furniture and lighting systems, always essential to the settings in order to create harmonious spaces with unique atmospheres.
Some of their most iconic projects, dated and recent, include the flagship shops of Paul&Shark, Nava, Antonio Biaggi, Tie your Tie, C'art, and Carlo Pazolini. Other than retail, further projects mostly revolve around the restoration industry – from typical Japanese cuisine restaurants, including Kido-ism, Fukurou, or Wicky's in Milan, to the innovative coffee shop 'Geshary Coffee' in Tokyo. Finally, the studio designed workspaces in Milan, like their very own Takeda Katsuya offices, or some offices located in Via Rembrandt 68, as well as private residential projects such as HOUSE G in the heart of Milan, House V Milan, House K in Kumamoto in Japan, the Model House in Aichi in Japan, or the Scola Ukiyoe in the Marche region of Italy.
Cultural crossovers are a fundamental part of the studio’s design identity, in a constant harmonious and aesthetic interaction between Japanese and Italian trends. In its designs, the studio always recalls Japanese culture with traditional materials like woods, yet also features contemporary minimalist furniture typical of European design. Unique works of art were created specifically for some of their projects, with the unique oil paintings designed exclusively by Iida Takako. Each painting tells the story of an emotion and a memory, reflecting the design conceived by Takeda Katsuya.
A distinguishing feature of the studio is its ability to adapt to the needs of the space, to constantly listen to the client's requests, to elaborate a style always in line with the client's wishes in order to define increasingly customised moods, atmospheres and styles.
Takeda Katsuya, born in Kumamoto, Japan, designer, works and lives in Milan where he founded his interior design studio in 2014. After technical high school in Japan and a 7-year experience in a Japanese company specialised in the design of prefabricated houses, he moved to Italy in 1998, to the Tuscan capital where he studied architecture at Florence University. He then worked in Milan for a Japanese company specialising in project management in the fashion industry, where he acquired important management experience for Gucci, getting closer to the world of retail. He developed a specialisation in the luxury retail sector and worked for Dolce & Gabbana and Ermanno Scervino in concept retail design over the years. After a consolidated experience in the field of architecture and interior design and the development of projects in Japan and Europe, he started his entrepreneurial activity in 2012 and officially founded the studio in 2014, today located in Via del Torchio in Milan.
Iida Takako, born in Gumma, Japan, is an abstract painter, working mainly with oil painting. In 1997 she moved to Florence where she graduated in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in 2003. The next year, she moved to Milan where she currently lives and works. She collaborates with the designer Katsuya Takeda, working in close synergy to create works of art for interior designs. “Small sensations of joy, sadness, pain, moving moments and astonishment in the delicate fragility are difficult to express with words and easy to forget in a hectic life.” In her art, Takako Iida aims at “Bringing together and recreating broken memories on canvas trying to convey my emotions, evoking lost feelings”. In 2003, she was awarded the Florence Prize in Japan and in 2004 selected for the Sonpo Japan Art Award Exhibition.