At a very young age in his hometown, Kunitachi, university city, Shigeaki Asahara was a pupil of Nakamoto Tatsuya who taught him painting. On the advice of the master, he moved to Turin, Italy, enrolling in the Accademia Albertina diBelle Arti. One of his paintings was selected at the ArteGiovane competition. He rarely attended the Institute, in facthe cultivated interest in car design and the automotiveworld. “Soon though,” he declares, “I convinced myself that by designing smaller objects, I could more easily imagine how they would be once made. This work finally suited me, that of product design. It represented the best choice for my ideative sensibility.” Upon returning to Japan he collaborated with Adam&Eve, gaining experience in the field of ceramics. Then he was a designer in Turin, from 1977 and 1978, with ABACO, a wellknown architectural and interior design firm. In the 1980s he began his career as a freelance designer, leading in the lighting industry and dividing his professional time between Italy and Japan.
In 1980 the Tokio lamp by Stilnovo was selected for the Compasso d’Oro and won, in many editions, the I.F. of Hanover. For Ushio Spax, Yamada, Daiko he designed lamps for the Japanese market, twice winning the Good Design award from the Ministry of Industry. Some of his lamps can be found in the permanent collections of important museums in New York and Tokyo. In Italy he worked with Cristal Art, Lucitalia, Stilnovo, Candle and Contact. Giuliana Gramigna, published in Repertoire of Italian Design 1950-2000, some of her ideas, citing his name among the very few foreigners. In 2019 Codiceicona reissued Palomar of 1984 and Ziggurat of 1981, unmistakable representatives of the design lexicon of Shigeaki Asahara. In full agreement with the designer, again in 2019 also marketed the smaller-scale version of Ziggurat, as well as Lamina, table lamp, which already today remains unaffected by time.
The new Ziggurat is currently being produced and will be presented in 2021.