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A tribute to Isao Hosoe, Trickster and Master of Design.

Isao Hosoe passed away in Milan, on October 3rd. The city, land of Design, where he moved from Tokyo after his degree in engineering to work together with Giò Ponti and Alberto Rosselli and where he chose to live, to marry and have children, to set up a practice and work.

A special person, always humble and kind, a philosopher rather than an engineer, a clever talker who could held everyone spellbound with the low and constant flow of his words, with his unexpected culture and subtle irony, with a ritual, gestural expressiveness and, most of all, with the relentless quest for the unforeseeable and unusual revealed in each of his words, rather than in his designs.
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Awarded with several Compasso d’Oro ADI and many other prizes and accolades all over the world, this gifted and unconventional designer has worked for some of the major companies worldwide, he brought innovation in all kinds of fields of industrial design and could infuse Japanese culture into the process of Italian design.

The vortex is the logo he has chosen for his office IHD (Isao Hosoe Design). It is actually a projectual declaration of the design intents, pure expression of the dynamism between cultures, people and products. In the center of the vortex he always put the human beings: the comprehension of their habits, their behaviours and their needs, even if those yet to be known.

He had developed a cruel disease that affected senses and skills, which were at the root of his profession: sight, speech, the sense of space.
But for all of us who appreciated and loved him, and who have learned so much from him, he will always be the joyful and smiling Trickster, in the meaning of a “dynamic catalyst within the centre-periphery combination”, a definition that Isao himself had chosen and no other portrayal could be better.

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