Skip to main content


The Power of Hands

I have selected eight designers and seven projects where I found that I share the core questions at the heart of their projects. They are all related to using hands in different ways - to tackle our contemporary issues. Although some of them are not in the shape of a complete project yet, I want to watch their works develop in the future, and investigate how they might be applied to the real world.

It is heartening to know that this digital-native generation of designers are seeking the REAL sense of touch, observation, trial and error and sharing and visualising community senses… and stretching fields of design to their own interests through their experiments as designers. There are two questions that I would share with these emerging designers:

1. How can a designer's point of view and skills be used to benefit the post-
consumption and energy-efficient world to come?

2. How can we retrieve the “power of hands” - remembering the hands' unique
contribution to the future-imagining circuit in our mind, and switch out from tablet-
swiping culture?

Tomoko Azumi

Tomoko Azumi

Tomoko Azumi (born in 1966, in Hiroshima, Japan) is a director of TNA Design Studio, London; a furniture, product, exhibition and retail interior design consultancy for multinational clients.

She graduated with an MA Furniture Design from Royal College of Art in 1995 with her “transformable furniture” range and lighting design and won a student design award at New Designers. After 10 years of partnership design studio AZUMI, she opened her solo practice in 2005.

Recent works include furniture for court rooms of the UK Supreme Court, ‘Flow’ for ercol (UK), ‘Stabellö’ for Röthlisberger (Switzerland)
and ‘Spiral of Colours’ installation for G. F Smith (UK). Her works are in public collections, including ‘Table=Chest’ (1995), exhibited in the Furniture Gallery at V&A, London.

As well as being on jury boards of international design competitions and awards, including Good Design Award (Japan) and D&AD (UK), she has been teaching internationally in design education since 2000. She was a platform tutor for Design Products at Royal College of Art from 2006, and then a project tutor until 2011; she also taught for the Interior Design department at RCA until 2014.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
Royal College of Art
Registered Office: Royal College of Art,
Kensington Gore, South Kensington,
London SW7 2EU
RCA™ Royal College of Art™ are trademarks
of the Royal College of Art