‘If you’re not curious don’t bother,’ Achille Castiglioni once told Kazuyo Komoda. The words capture the Milan-based designer’s approach – employing intrigue and subtle irony to identify the essentials. A new monograph on the work of Japanese designer Komoda has the same leitmotiv running through it. Edited by Italian critic Francesca Acerboni, the book was launched last month and accompanied by a mini exhibition in the ‘studio of marvels’ at Fondazione Castiglioni.

Exploring the ‘poetics of the quotidian,’ Komoda’s designs balance the practical and the emotional in a series of subtle gestures. Works are characterized as seemingly ambivalent shapes with hidden functions – disclosed meanings are rooted in sensation and immateriality. The monograph is broken down into thematic sections – production, furniture, cutlery, shop design, urban interventions and personal diaries. Acerboni concludes with the designer’s theory that mirrors can only record delicate reflections.

Photos David Zanardi