Designer Spotlight: Kazunori Takeishi and Lim Shing Ee

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This weeks Designer Spotlight focuses on a husband and wife team, running MONOCIRCUS, an art and design lab and an online store.  

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?

My name is Kazunori Takeishi and I am Japanese and an architect, while my wife, Lim Shing Ee (Shing), is Singaporean and an artist. We turned a room in our apartment in Fukuoka, Japan, into a studio/office space where we work practically round the clock, while parenting two boys.

What’s the story behind your designs? What inspires you?
Shing and I had been making art, mainly installation and sculptural works, for a few years before we started MONOCIRCUS in 2011, as an attempt to expand our creative work beyond the boundaries we have been familiar with. Like with our art work, our inspirations come from almost anything; from the very mundane everyday encounters and a lot from nature. The trigger to creating a new design is usually initiated by a very simple idea like a shape, a texture or a found object, flower or leaf and from there, we start our brainstorming and discussions with sketches and 3D modelling on our computer.

What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?

I am an architect and Shing is an artist but we thought there should not be a limit to the definition and scale of work we create. We wanted to translate our art and architectural concepts into objects that are not bound by a definition or category, items that can be enjoyed by a greater threshold of people, and something that people can carry or wear around everywhere they go. We discovered that 3D printing could be the tool for us to make this possible and just when we needed to fabricate our ideas into objects with more intricacy and dynamism, we found Shapeways.

How did you learn how to design in 3D?
Ever since I was an architecture student, I came in touch with 3 dimensional design and I have been very interested in 3D modelling. About 4 years ago, I started to explore parametric design using Rhinoceros and with the manual in my hand, I studied it on my own. It was a lot of trial and error at first, but slowly I am able to manipulate forms and translate our ideas into 3D models with the use of Rhinoceros and Grasshopper.

How do you promote your work?

MONOCIRCUS has its own online webshop and we promote our store mainly on Facebook. We also have a store on Etsy. As we are based in Japan, our customers mostly come from Japan so we also have a few Japanese blogs and feature our store in a few local online malls.

Who are your favorite designers or artists?
Among a lot of architects and artists that we like, Charles and Ray Eames are our all-time favorite! In the Shapeways community, we admire works of designers like TheoJansen and Virtox.

If you weren’t limited by current technologies, what would you want to make using 3D printing?

We would hope to create furniture, large sculptures and 3D paintings and architecture! We have been creating artworks and art installation projects with a lot of woodwork and painting. And eversince our relationship with Shapeways began, our creative journey has been getting more interesting and exciting each day!

Head over to Kazunori and Shing’s Shapeways Shop to check out their designs, or see more of their work on their website. If you’d like to be our next Designer Spotlight, send an email to natalia@shapeways.com

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