Lautak atelier is based in the beautiful countryside of Montespertoli, in the province of Florence, run by the designer Takeshi Tamashiro, where there is lots of space, many trees, some hens and deep old woods.

Hand drawings, paper models, mechanism scale models, wood prototypes, CAD drawings & coffee maker come at hand, Tak’s atelier is furnished with the most varied tools to help him study what could be done. In the long process of defining an object Tak seeks to balance simplicity of use (so things are actually handy) and simplicity of fabrication (therefore economy + purity) and this process is nurtured by the quest for beauty… it all starts with a function but it must end with a form.

Lautak object’s are studied to be produced with the help of today’s automated technologies while keeping a high degree of handcraft manufacture. The production combines the workforce of local (italian) woodworking carpentries + the direct work of lautak team.

Marco Mancuso: Can you talk about yourself and can you make us understand what is Lautak and the idea behind the project?

Takeshi Tamashiro: I have long desired to invent things that are useful and that bring something new to our daily life, I naturally care A LOT about the quality of materials (feel, adaptability, life span…) and have found throughout the years values that are constantly becoming clearer… After years of feeling this thing as a far cloud in my imagination I have finally made the jump to make this come true and so “lautak” is born. I have been investing LODS of my energy in the project and…. hope it sticks!

Marco Mancuso: Which are the objects of your production. Can you describe them?

Takeshi Tamashiro: I have many projects that have been popping out these last years, however currently I am concentrating on the production of the “work sweet work” set, it is a group of three different pieces of furniture that should suit many different people who work on a desk. It all starts with the desk that you can open (to work) or close (if you want to see order or hide your precious laptop from your 3 year old who loves tapping those keys), It then came the idea to have a trolley where to set the printer and extend the working surface and finally the stool-chair which you can use in many ways 🙂 the whole three pieces stack together and you can move them around if needed (on wooden wheels).

Marco Mancuso: Which are the materials that you use and please let us know a bit more about your craft and design process?

Takeshi Tamashiro: I do not care much about the shape or outlook, at least not initially, maybe because I am not so good at it …

I care about the functioning, If I have an idea I want it to work, and I want it to be sturdy and last longing and I strive to find as much simplicity as possible; normally every project starts being complicated, when I find a simpler version of a detail I go for it and feel happy. To do this it is not enough to draw or create paper models, I need to build each design many times so I can find out exactly the way I want to solve all details, it feels great when I can avoid a technical piece of metal joinery and instead can solve a mechanism only with wood or fabric and with my own machines. Today I have a great woodworking lab with many machines that help me go quicker and work better.

As I have said I care a lot about quality and life span of materials, I prefer to use materials that can get old with good dignity and that if ever they should be thrown away they do not represent a “polluting hassle”…so far I keep on coming back to wood and fabric.

Marco Mancuso: How your culture affected your designs?

Takeshi Tamashiro: I have always felt my being mexican as something blurry or not really defined… however I guess culture goes far beyond, and the more I get older the more I find how mexican I may be…. As I develop objects or furniture I find a certain will to adapt and arrange with simple things, to move with what is available, to recycle, to do by hand. I believe the values of a culture are beautifully expressed in handcrafts and on the other side I think designing means enacting values.Said this, I perceive some traditional mexican wooden toys as being incredible mechanisms that express joy combining simplicity and roughness (never nicely finished but they do their job beautifully!) When I try to solve my objects I strive for these traits, somehow.

Marco Mancuso: As your objects are born from the intent to solve practical problems through simple and honest mechanism. What does “functionality” mean for you?

Takeshi Tamashiro: I very highly admire people who create beautiful objects, on the other side I believe currently this doesn’t belong to me as an “object” maker…. however I intend to pursue beauty focusing in the function an object has to achieve and the way it may do it.