Naoto Fukasawa was born in Yamanashi, Japan, and graduated from Tama Art University. His career began at Seiko Epson, where he designed micro-technology products such as wrist TVs. After moving to the United States, he joined San Francisco design firm ID Two, predecessor to IDEO. There, he worked on electronics products, including a design concept for Apple.
In 1996, he returned to Japan to head up IDEO’s Tokyo office. He also created a series of workshops for designers called Without Thought, which espoused the idea that people are linked to everyday things in their environments without being aware of it. If we think too closely about what we’re doing, our actions become awkward, whereas designs of simplicity entwine seamlessly with people’s actions. During his first workshop, Fukasawa conceived an innovative wall-mounted CD player, which was produced by MUJI and now resides in the permanent collection of MoMA.