Products and Design

Designer Spotlight: Kazu and Shing Takeishi

This weeks designer spotlight features Kazu and Shing Takeishi, the minds behind MONOCIRCUS. The Japanese duo have creative backgrounds and have channeled that energy into a shop full of fun and beautiful out-of-the-box ideas turned products.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
MONOCIRCUS began in 2011, started by two of us, Kazu, Japanese architect, and Shing, Singaporean artist. We work from a little bedroom-turned-studio in our home in Fukuoka, Japan, where we live with our two little boys.


What’s the story behind your designs? What inspires you?
Kazu studied and worked in the architecture field and Shing studied and worked as a painter and installation artist before we started MONOCIRCUS. Our designs are pretty much just an extension of what we have always been doing over the years. Our concepts and sensibilities to textures, forms and functions have been the way we have always been, only that now it takes on the factor of an object being worn and used on the body. Our inspirations mostly come from the amazing geometry and textures of living things in nature!


What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?
We came upon Shapeways quite incidentally when we were about to start up MONOCIRCUS. We were researching a lot about 3D printing; back in 2011 there was not as much hype about 3D printing.

How did you learn how to design in 3D?
Kazu does the 3D modeling for all the items in MONOCIRCUS. As a student, he studied architecture not only as an engineering science but also as an art form and that was when he got to know about 3D design. He basically studied and is still always learning about 3D modeling and design all on his own. Whereas Shing has been making paintings and sculptures, so naturally she has the 3 dimensional sensibility in the way she thinks about objects.


How do you promote your work?
We hardly find time to do promotion and marketing as we run everything on our very own, but we try to promote our work on the major social networks out there: personal website, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest.

Who are your favorite designers or artists? Who in the Shapeways community has served as an inspiration to you?
There are a lot of architects, painters and sculptors whom we admire. But mainly Kazu likes and gets inspired by writings by Michel Serresand Shing likes artists such as Rene Magritte, Gustav Klimt and (installation artist) Mark Manders among many others.


If you weren’t limited by current technologies, what would you want to make using 3D printing?
We pretty much hope to create everything we can! It would certainly be wonderful if there comes a time when we are able to design and create architectural spaces and monumental sculptural objects with 3D printing!


  • Excellent photography, models on white backgrounds and in context of use
  • Great range of products
  • Beautiful branding
  • Experimentation with lots of materials

Thank you both so much for the lovely interview. Don’t forget to socialize with MONOCIRCUS: personal websiteFacebookTwitterTumblr and Pinterest. To be featured, please feel free to email aimee @

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