Born in Fukuoka, Japan, Takeuchi moved to New Zealand when he was 15. He studied product design at art school in Auckland, where he earned his bachelor’s degree and a scholarship to ENSCI-Les Ateliers, a prestigious graduate-level industrial design program in Paris. When he returned to New Zealand, he was ready to begin work as an industrial designer, but he soon realized opportunities were rather limited.
With the electronics industry taking off Takeuchi headed to Japan, where in 2005 he began working with Naoto Fukasawa. After spending seven years in Fukasawa’s Tokyo studio, Takeuchi’s interest in exploring furniture design took him to Italy, where he set up Fukasawa’s Milan office.
Takeuchi believes that among all designed objects, furniture has the most potential to influence people’s view on their lives. To him, the role of furniture designer is one of fine-tuning our lifestyle with the rapidly changing society we live in. “It is about sharing a vision for improving our lifestyle whether it is such a small thing or a big thing, beyond what the market dictates,” he says. While Takeuchi continues to collaborate with Fukasawa, he also set up his own design office, Keiji Takeuchi Srls.
After playing an important role in the development of Fukasawa’s Saiba Chairs and Tables for Geiger, Takeuchi began working with Geiger on a variety of projects, both in partnership with Fukasawa and on his own. His first independent project for Geiger, Leeway Seating, explores the idea that a chair should allow for natural shifting of the body to encourage socializing and collaboration.
Believing “the most important thing is not to lose the soul of the original idea along the way,” Takeuchi knew he could count on Geiger craftsmanship and technology to execute his cantilevered backrest. The resulting chair is organic and free-spirited, clean but not too serious.