Ayako Takase, IDSA


Ayako Takase, IDSA
Co-founder, Observatory

Ayako Takase is co-founder and design director of Observatory: an award-winning, multi-disciplinary design studio based in Providence, RI, which she founded in 2001 with partner Cutter Hutton. Observatory helps organizations and individuals design and develop exceptional objects and experiences while focusing on creatively answering the problems and needs of people. The firm's projects range from furniture, tabletop products, and consumer goods to UX, UI, and strategy design for clients such as Herman Miller, Procter & Gamble, Keilhaur, and Bauer.

As an assistant professor in the department of Industrial Design at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Takase teaches hands-on studios that focus on human-centric design, emotive design, and iterative design at the graduate and undergraduate levels.


What are you looking for in an IDEA-winning product?

Powerful visions for the future and for a better world, earth, and universe.

What is the biggest shift in the design world you’ve noticed since your career began?

I think there has been more of a true sense of inclusivity and care being reflected in objects, services, and experiences nowadays, though I'd say we have so much more to do in this area.

What keeps you inspired?

People, our beautiful world that we get to live in, and my children.

Learn more at IDSA.org/IDEA