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Two Japanese-born Australian based designers collaborate to tell a story of tradition, modernity and the graceful marriage of the two. 


Brisbane-based furniture designer Fukutoshi Ueno met iconic fashion designer Akira Isogawa at a private lunch with mutual friends in 2001. They immediately began talks of a joint project.

Some time later, ‘Dress Code, ’ a multipurpose object that can be used as a side table, shelving system, stool or decorative piece, emerged and spoke elegantly of its creators’ common vision. 


“Rather than focus on the differences in our creative processes, we tend to look at the dimensions we have in common: our traditional Japanese culture and our new lives in contemporary Australia,” explains Ueno.

Crafted from heirloom woods and inspired by 11th Century Japanese literature, vivid kimono designs and vibrant seasonal colours, Dress Code seems to have been brought to life by the designers’ childhood memories.



Yet the clever integration of contemporary wood surface processes instill a sense of modern taste into the pieces and reimagine traditional customs. 

Isogawa comments, “When I first came to Sydney in 1986, I remember looking at kimono fabric and I realized how different it appeared under the bright intensity of the Australian sun. I began to see the kimono as a modern idea, not just something buried in tradition.”



Ueno is currently exhibiting special art collection pieces of Dress Code at SGAR in Brisbane. Constructed out of high-density acrylic instead of wood, Ueno creates the illusion that Isogawa’s patterns are frozen within the material.

Ueno adds, “I remember as a child looking into pieces of glass and seeing reflections. In this way, I feel like Alice and her looking glass, peering back into the past and returning me to the fantasy and magic of my childhood.”


Blok Furniture
(61 7) 3876 4422

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