born and raised in Chiba, Japan
Lives and works in Detroit, USA
My work embraces organic irregularities that are found in handmade beauty and warmth. Focusing on brass brazing and upholstery sewing, I explore design possibilities to push the boundaries of what furniture can be.
Being from Japan, I have a deep appreciation for the natural world and the importance of balance, harmony, and imperfection. Living and working in Detroit has also been a major influence on my work, exposing me to a diverse range of perspectives and ideas, while also nurturing my knowledge and curiosity about materials and fabrication processes.
I believe that functional objects don’t only serve a purpose but also evoke metaphor and storytelling. I aim to create pieces bringing a sense of art into everyday life.
Ayako Aratani is a furniture designer and sculptor based in Detroit, born and raised in Japan. She studied product and furniture design at Chiba University before pursuing a master's degree in 3D Design at Cranbrook Academy of Art. Following her graduation in 2016, she established her studio practice in Pontiac, Michigan.
Her expertise and contributions to the field of design have been widely recognized, and she has received numerous awards, including the iF Design Award, UNESCO Design City Worldwide Things Collection, MUJI International Design Award Bronze prize, Good Design Award, and Saku Library Chair Design Competition Gold prize. Her work has been featured in many prominent exhibitions, including a solo show as part of the Aratani Fay duo at Salon Gallery, the group exhibition "Never Normal" at Wasserman Project Gallery, as well as ICFF+WantedDesignManhattan, Architectural Design Digest Show in NYC, Salone Satellite in Milan, Collective Design in NYC, and the Interior Design Show in Toronto. Her accomplishments have been featured in renowned publications such as Dezeen, Dwell, Architectural Digest Magazine, Alive Magazine, and Azure magazine.