Meet the Makers: Light Origami Designer Kaz Shirane

In this Meet the Makers blog series, we will feature an artist that, quite simply, makes something. Drawing inspiration from custom works handcrafted in various media, we travel beyond the pieces by diving into the minds of the creative makers themselves.

Today, we feature our interview with Kaz Shirane, the creative designer of Light Origami installations. Kaz is recognized for his works in architecture, interior design and spatial art. Trained as an architect, Kaz Shirane aims to create “space without function” – a refreshing departure from mainstream architecture.


 GPI Design: What (3) words best describe your work?

Kaz Shirane: Interactive – 3D Kaleidoscope – Small Architecture

GPI: What compels you to create with this particular medium?

Shirane: Regarding of some of my other works such as WINK SPACE and Zipper,  supplied by YKK Fastening Products Group, was normally developed for soft fabric. However we try to connect hard panels, but it was challenge,  it is unknown how to make it strong enough. I used a computation machine tool to aid in calculation and precision.


GPI: What is your biggest constraint in the creative process?

Shirane: For Light Origami, the most stressful thing to me is working with an individual who stole my idea and concept, and artist credit. This is the worst thing that has happened to me in my life, and I spent 9 years trying to protect my rights (After graduation university).

Through working with him, I realized I needed to learn and know what it takes to own a business, so I made my team up in Japan. I think many artist will face this kind of thing -we need to learn how we live together as artists on a different level, not just conceptual and technical levels.


GPI: What would your 5 year old former self say about your work now? And what do you hope your future 90 year old self will say about your current work?

Shirane: My 5 year old Kaz would say, “ You should have many different types of experience and learn English more!!!”  My 90 year old Kaz would say, “ Let’s think how you can live in your life without regret. Don’t think too much! Do the best what you can do now, Consequence is not important. You were poor though.”

Light Origami_r

GPI: What other maker would you most like to collaborate with?

Shirane: My major is architecture, so I can understand things with more difficulty, however, I don’t know much software such as Lighting programs etc. So I am very interested in Lighting design currently.

I will create life-size kaleidoscopes to update the history of the kaleidoscope. There has been little study or research for the history of kaleidoscopes, even though it was invented nearly two centuries ago by Sir David Brewster.  Therefore I feel the need to study interaction design and Lighting design collaboration with 3D kaleidoscope artwork. The most effect way to update research on the kaleidoscope is to use interaction design; this contains jointed together mirror polyhedron space, that I am currently researching, and lighting design that is linked with human behavior.


GPI: What do you think the future of creation/creativity holds (for you, and the artistic world as a whole)?

Shirane: I think Critique is the most important. I am very interested in “nothing “ as a means. Space around us has been covered by more functional or meaningful space but I doubt this situation whether  they really needed more? As architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe has mentioned “Less is more.” I am considering this meaning in this era.


GPI: What does your work space look like right now? Send us a selfie of you in your creative arena!



Many thanks to Kaz Shirane for the insight into his craft. Stay tuned to our next Meet the Makers interview coming up in two weeks! The interviews will publish every other Tuesday throughout the remainder of the year, focusing on a wide variety of makers, which has us truly redefining what it means to create.

 View this maker’s work: Kaz Shirane