We're super stoked to get a chance to present Mitz Takahashi to B&B readers. The Osaka-born, now Montrealer Mitz is a funny, multiply talented guy with a sharp and keen eye for design, and a natural affinity for incorporating eco practices into his business. His hardwood line ranges from humorous home decor through to sophisticated large furniture with elegant joinery.
B&B: How did your interest in working with wood start?
MT: I have a BFA and always liked designers like Eames, Finn Juhl, Dieter Rams and other mid century modern designers. Also, I always did a lot of wood stuff like making guitar amp cabinets etc and I just wanted to learn more about it. Even if I didn't make it, I thought it would be a great asset in my life. And RTC (Rosemont Technology Institute) was cheap to go!!
B&B: How did you begin your business?
MT: After many shop visits (during the shop visit module at RTC) I realized I didn't want to do the same thing all day. Don't get me wrong, I respect people who do it and I know working for bigger companies is financially stable and has benefits etc. I wish I could do it but I just wanted to do my own design and also I'm a super night person. I always slept in. I remember I slept in almost everyday for my junior high, teachers thought i had a permanent jet lag. I'm that kind of person. And I enjoy working for myself. Sometimes, I look in the mirror and tell myself, "Boss, there is a soccer game I want to watch, can i take an afternoon off?" and then I tell myself, "Yes you can! get an ice cream for yourself while you are at it!" and I'm like, "Thank you, Me!" It's great.
B&B A lot of your furniture and accessory pieces are made with reclaimed wood, and sometimes even reclaimed metal. Is using reclaimed materials important to you, and why?
Was the scrap wood the source of the inspiration or just convenient?
MT: While at school, there are scrap piles and people often throw nice pieces of wood away, so I always collected them. Recently, i watched Jurassic Park and I thought to myself, "if I don't take care of this planet, we would all go extinct like these dinosaurs." I think it's our responsibilities to be eco friendly.
B&B How would you describe your style? Do you have any mentors/ influences, or a design manifesto? What role does humour play in your pieces and business?
MT: Hmmm… I'm not sure how to answer. i think i just like a sense of humour in my works. I guess it's just me. The design field is often quite serious but I just like to have fun I guess. I don't really have mentors but if I did it would be my family and friends. I want to make something that lasts long and is not disposable. I always imagine a family surrounding my furnitures passed from generation to generation. That would be ideal. So trying to make my design as timeless as possible which is often minimal and does suit in any era with a little bit touch of my jokes. So i guess my manifesto would be "melancholy and the infinite sanding".
B&B: Ha ha! Amazing. We love that your incredible sense of humour comes through in all that you do.
If people want to buy your work or commission a piece, how do they do that?
MT: I'm always open to anything. Just email me:)