The KOKUYO DESIGN AWARD 2024 Winners Have Been Decided

The theme was "primitive," and Tasuku Denno 's "You Shape" was chosen as the Grand Prix winner from among 1,480 entries received from Japan and all around the world.

Kokuyo Co., Ltd. (head office: Osaka City, president: Hidekuni Kuroda) has announced the selection of one Grand Prix and three Merit Awards for the Kokuyo Design Award 2024, which aims to seek out designers who will take on the next generation and support them by commercializing their products.


For KOKUYO DESIGN AWARD 2024--the competition's 21st outing--we chose "primitive" as the theme. This word usually describes something that is in its "original" or "basic" state, close to nature and yet to be refined. For this year's competition however, we interpreted it as "redefining the essence of something," and called for product designs that will remain as that redefined essence for many years to come.

A total of 1,480 entries were received from 51 countries all around the world (876 from Japan and 604 from overseas) from July 28th until October 11th 2023.
In the final judging, the judges saw presentations and models for the 10 entries that had made it through the second round of judging and patent search last November. They then had a final deliberation session to decide on the award-winners.

1.Details on Winning Entries

Grand Prix (1 design)


Design name:You Shape

General name:Pencil

Design overview:
"You Shape" is a material product that you can make into whatever shape you want. I had big hands ever since I was a child, and I could not hold pencils well because they were so narrow. Because of that, I held pencils in a way that people said was peculiar. I have never had a pencil that was easy to use. I thought about this product because there are people other than me who are inconvenienced by standardized products.

Award winner/Group name:Tasuku Denno

Merit Award (3 designs)


Design name:Memento

General name:Whiteboard

Design overview:
In modern times, we write notes on paper and throw them away immediately, but in ancient times, letters were engraved on stones and animal bones, and naturally weathered. "Memento" is a small whiteboard that is round like a pebble and can be used on a table. You can write a short memo, erase it, and write another one. You can also write an important message that you want to look at for a long time without erasing it. Its stone-like appearance adds to the landscape on your desk. This product lies in between the rush of current day and the flow of primitive times.

Award winner/Group name:Soichiro Tanaka


Design name:Color-Changing Pencil

General name:Writing Tools

Design overview:I think everyone stopped at the scent of flowers and greenery at least once. We have grown with plants our whole lives, and they unexpectedly add color to our everyday sceneries. The "Color-Changing Pencill" expresses the life of a plant as buds emerge from seeds, leaves grow, flowers bloom, and the plant withers as the colored pencil changes colors. The colors change just like the seasons the more you use it, and you can see unexpected changes. 

Award winner/Group name:Ibuki Ohara


Design name:Drippy

General name:Sticky Notes

Design overview:As the name suggests, "Drippy" is a sticky note that looks as if waterdrops have fallen on it. Like tear traces, it is a record of the moments when your heart was moved. Because "Drippy" is slightly thick, the pages open naturally when you turn them. You don't have to worry about protruding edges like with long, rectangular sticky notes. You can leave marks anywhere on the page. 

Award winner/Group name:FUKATAKA (Takaaki Sato, Mao Fukasawa)

Note: The design titles, general item names, design overviews, and winner/group names are as written on the entry sheets.

2.Details on Trophies and Certificates of Commendation

We had interpreted this year's theme, "primitive," as "redefining the essence of something." So, the trophies and certificates presented to the winners featured an "eye" motif, to represent "perspective that sees through to the essence."

"The trophy has a magnifying glass motif that represents "perspective that sees through to the essence" in an iconic way.
The award certificate uses the "eye" from the key visual, and the Grand Prix award has an eye with a special stainless steel inlay."



"The KOKUYO DESIGN AWARD is one of the most renowned and historied product design competitions in Japan. It was established by KOKUYO back in 2002, and this year's competition marks its 21st outing. 

Besides setting themes that mirror the times then selecting the most outstanding product designs among all those entered in response, we have also been commercializing the winning designs through co-creation between the award winners themselves and KOKUYO's product developers. By taking designs that breathe new life into tools that are a familiar part of our lives at home and at work and offering them to the world as soundly developed products, we aim to give their designers a boost for their future activities, and at the same time, create exciting work and lifestyle ideas for tomorrow."

4.Profiles of KOKUYO DESIGN AWARD 2024 Judges


Shogo Kishino

Representative of 6D-K

Art Director and Graphic Designer

Born in 1975 in Tachikawa City, Tokyo. Shogo Kishino established the graphic design studio 6D in 2007. He mainly works on the visual identity for companies and products, as well as logos, package designs, and sign design for a wide range of spaces. His major awards include the D&AD award, the Cannes Award, the One Show Award, the Design for Asia Award, the ADC Award, the JAGDA Award, the Japan Package Design Award, the Sign Design Award, and many other awards both in Japan and abroad.

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Tsuyoshi Tane

Founder of Atelier Tsuyoshi Tane Architects


Tsuyoshi Tane is an architect. Born in Tokyo in 1979, he established Atelier Tsuyoshi Tane Architects, and is now based in Paris, France. Based on the concept of "Archaeology of the Future"--which is about creating architecture from the memory of a place, discovered through archaeological research--he has many projects underway all around the world, and especially in Europe and Japan. His major works include the Estonian National Museum, the Hirosaki Museum of Contemporary Art, the Al Thani Collection Foundation's museum, and the Imperial Hotel's new main building (scheduled to be completed in 2036). The numerous awards he has received include the French Ministry of Culture Architecture Prize (2007), 67th Japanese Ministry New Face Award of Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts, AFEX Grand Prix 2021, and 67th Mainichi Design Award 2021. His books include Tane Tsuyoshi: TSUYOSHI TANE Archaeology of the Future and Archaeology kara Architecture e (From Archaeology to Architecture).


Nao Tamura


"Nao Tamura is a designer in the most modern terms. Her talents cross-over cultures, languages, disciplines, concepts and styles with consistency of smart thinking always at the heart of her work. She is truly global in her insights and execution. As a product of Tokyo and New York City creative communities, her solutions are equally at ease in the world of 2D and 3D, with an uncanny ability to find that emotional connection with the industry status-quo often insists upon. Her unique solutions are more than simply design and possess a rare balance of innovation and beauty.

Nao Tamura has also received a number of prestigious awards including: IF Design Award, Red Dot Design Award, Industrial Design Excellence Awards (Gold), Milano Salone Satellite Award (1st prize) and so on."

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Teruhiro Yanagihara



Teruhiro Yanagihara established a design studio in 2002. He currently has studios in Kobe and Arles, France. His studios offer comprehensive works rich in their creative direction, art direction, product design, and interior design for international brands based in France, Japan, the Netherlands and the UK. Gallery and studio Vague Kobe is scheduled to open in the summer of 2023 as a place of new creation.

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Satoshi Yoshiizumi

Principal of TAKT PROJECT Inc.


Satoshi Yoshiizumi conducts experimental independent research projects on "creating different possibilities" through design, and presents and exhibits work as a guest at museums and exhibitions both in Japan and abroad. He rolls out a wide variety of projects with his clients based on the results. His major awards include Dezeen Awards Emerging Designers of the year 2019 (UK), Design Miami/ Basel Swarovski Designers of the future Award 2017 (Switzerland), if Design Award Gold, Red Dot Design Award, German Design Award and the 25th Kuwasawa Award. Three of his works are featured in the collection of the M+ Museum in Hong Kong. He is also the exhibition director of the 21_21Design Sight special exhibition "Material, or".

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