Founded in 2006, takram design engineering is a creative and innovation firm based in Tokyo. We offer innovative concept, product, and experience design for a variety of businesses and institutions around the world.
takram consists of a group of talented ‘design engineers:’ creative professionals fluent in both creative design and technical engineering. Our expertise in both design and engineering allows us to translate the capabilities of new technologies into fascinating new experiences and to uncover new technological possibilities by observing everyday life through the vantage point of design. Bridging the gaps between design and engineering, between the physical and the conceptual, and between the virtual and real, we turn abstract ideas into applicable concepts and tangible products. Our uniquely interdisciplinary creative processes help our clients to identify innovative business opportunities that will fuel transformation and growth.
Today we are in the midst of a shift from the “one-product, one-function” era to a new era of sophisticated, multi-functional services and platforms. In this increasingly complex business world, we can no longer rely on a traditional, vertical division of labor. Today’s design challenges demand interdisciplinary collaboration, vertical integration of labor, and innovation in the production process. At takram, we firmly believe that the people drawing blueprints for new products and services must also understand business, technology and creative processes, and integrating these perspectives to create products of a higher level.
Our activities at takram encompass design and engineering but are not bound to the conventions of either discipline. The scope of our projects ranges from hardware to software, from architecture to digital art, and from organizational communication to education programs. takram is an ever-changing experiment in search of higher plateaus; we thrive on the synergy of different talents and professions and are driven by a passion to bring new meanings and values to everyday life.
With our expertise in both design and engineering, we are able not only to envision a new product concept but also to rapidly render that concept into a real product. By integrating the entire path of product development, our unique prototyping method generates optimal design and experience through rapid cycles of prototyping, testing, evaluation, and redesigning. Rapid prototyping automatically generates more prototypes within a given timeframe. Creating and recreating functional prototypes throughout our creative process, we bring only the most sophisticated and effective solutions to our clients.
Storyweaving is a creative method wherein design concepts—the stories we use to envision our products—are continuously refined and reinforced throughout the course of product development. Just as a product is never simply determined by its story, neither is the story a static reflection of a product: by putting the will to narrate (abstraction) into dialog with the will to create (physicalization), we allow product and story to evolve in tandem, perfecting one another. Our cross-functional “storyweaving” process facilitates this evolution through workshops and interviews with management and project members.
At takram, rather than responding passively to the client’s requests, we begin a project by redefining and reframing our client’s thoughts and ideas. We specialize in reorganizing thoughts and ideas from different functions within an organization. In so doing, we see the client’s vision and values in a higher resolution, allowing us to discover new perspectives and innovative ideas. Our clients are driven to deliver the best possible experiences to their customers and consumers; we assist them in creating those experiences by integrating their vision with our expertise in design and technology.
Concept Design and Development
When developing new products and services for emerging technology or markets, takram engages these projects with their unique method. Through meticulous interviews and workshops with management team as well as project members, we work actively to understand the origin of clients’ needs and to discern the desired direction of the project.
User Interface (UI) and Experience (UX) Design
Design engineers at takram have a wide range of experience with high skill-set in UI/UX projects. takram’s credentials are not only acclaimed in existing platforms such as iOS and Android, but also in a field where information technology fuses with cars and spaces. By combining our knowledge of clients’ business and technology, along with our unique rapid prototyping method, takram is able to achieve high-quality design in a short period of time. takram is constantly researching new technological and representational methods to provide fresh ideas and perspectives to clients.
Design engineering team at takram is able to create external forms with aesthetics, while meticulously controlling materiality and tactility to generate high-quality product design. When asked to design an interactive device, we deliver a cogent product design with dual investigations in the product’s external form and interactive internal mechanism. In order to evaluate product design at the penultimate phase, takram creates a working prototype with various built-in input devices, enabling us to experience the product’s external form and user interface all at once.
Architectural and Space Design
Architectural and Space Design platform was newly formed to engage with architectural and urban issues, predicated on a postulate that our surroundings including furniture, buildings and cities serve as integral and indivisible components of a much larger spatial system. In this sense, the word “space” is not only about the corporeal space but also about cultural, digital, metaphysical and even ecological spaces. Our mission is to use diverse skill sets with our network of collaborators to achieve results that will have real and consequential influence to the world we live in.
takram is active in creating installations for corporate showrooms, art museum and galleries. We are able to produce installations from the beginning to the end, including research, conceptual proposal, design, construction assistance, operational assistance, just to name a few. By committing ourselves to the entire process of installation production, from planning to conceptualization to hands-on construction, we are able to realize projects that effectively express the embedded messages. takram’s oeuvre is highly acclaimed internationally for fusing technology with creativity at higher echelon. At takram, project execution for any installation is made possible with a combination of hardware, software, and architectural elements.
Branding and Communication Design
Our expertise is not limited to the physical production. We at takram are also active in investing our efforts in the conceptual production, in other words, stories behind the product. We effectively conceptualise brand identity by understanding the market position of a targeted product and investigating the internal morale or the collective consciousness behind the product. Our combined knowledge of clients’ business and creative will allows us to propose the most effective ways of marketing and launching the product.
takram recognizes that design is a cultural production. There is a paradigmatic shift to treat design as asset, not as luxury or intellectual soliloquy. Through our engagement with projects with varying scales and programs, we realize that design research has become an imperative part of our practice. We at takram are actively working to disseminate our unique research apparatus in the form of publications, lectures and workshops to create a new and eminent form of discourse. We believe that research serves as a catalyst for the development of higher design consciousness, which will feed back into design. This cycle becomes indispensable for future value creation and asset evaluation.
Creative Training Programs
takram has accumulated much experience and knowledge through a variety of projects. In hope that these materials can be systematized, formalized, and made readily available to more people, we conduct workshops and training programs on such topics as effective brainstorming, ideation process, concept refinement and cross-functional communication.The target audience for our workshops is not limited to designers and developers; they are open to a wider audience including professionals in planning, marketing, business strategy and sales.
￼Awards and Accolades
- Microsoft Innovation Award Grand Prix, 2007
- red dot award: product design 2009
- red dot award: honorable mention 2009
- ELLE DECO Young Japanese Design Talent, 2009
- Good Design Award, Japan, 2011
- Permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York (MoMA)
ICON – an innovative magazine on fashion, style, beauty & entertainment
“Whether they’re making smartphone apps or art installations, the rising stars at inter-disciplinary practice Takram Design Engineering always have one foot in the future.”
dezeen – the world’s most influential architecture, interior and design magazine
“Takram is a design engineering firm of the new age that features a multilateral development approach employing design and engineering perspectives.”