Naoto Fukasawa

Per Bodner/Bloomberg News

Naoto Fukasawa

For a long time, Fukasawa was the design world's favorite secret. The Japanese industrial designer has influenced a generation of peers and students looking to mimic his refined aesthetic of elegance and minimalism. Now rather better known—a monograph of his work was published in 2007—Fukasawa nonetheless remains low-key in his approach to both publicity and design. His most fervent belief is that design should stem from the environment and nature. Through his own design firm, Naoto Fukasawa Design, he continues to work with companies such as Muji and on his own personal line of sleek, beautiful products.