Naoto Fukasawa was born in Yamanashi Prefecture in 1956. He graduated from Tama Art University in 1980. He worked at Seiko Epson, where he designed wrist TVs and mini printers using micro-technology developed from wristwatch technology; LCD TVs, LCD projectors and other equipment. He went to the United States in 1989 and joined the San Francisco deign firm ID Two, the predecessor to IDEO. While working for IDEO, he worked on a number of products related to Silicon Valley computing and electronics technology. Amongst these were the left heart ventricle support systems for Baxter and AVOCET's VERTECH ALPIN/SKI watch. He was also involved in the development of a design language and design concept for Apple. He has designed a number of products utilizing state-of-the-art technology for start-up companies and for big brand name computer and communications related companies, and has won numerous design awards in Europe and the United States successively from year to year.
In 1996, he returned to Japan to start and head up IDEO's Tokyo office. While acting as a design consultant to major Japanese companies, he also held design workshops - the without thought workshops - with young designers. The idea behind them was, People think that design is something that appeals to people's emotions, but in fact people are linked on a daily basis to things, to the environment, without being aware of it unconsciously. This unthinking state makes actions smooth; if we think closely about what we're doing, our actions become awkward or wooden. By converting the ideas extracted from the interaction of the unconscious mind with objects into tangible form, can we not create designs where individuality does not stand out; designs that make us feel a kind of simplicity, that entwine with people's actions and with the environment? Without thought proved popular and holds exhibitions every year. This year, the 7th without thought workshop is going to be hold. During the first workshop, he came up with the design for the wall-mounted CD player that was taken up and released by MUJI, and which has proved very popular worldwide. In 2004, MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York selected this CD player for its permanent collection.
In 2000, at the invitation of MoMA, he presented his work Personal Skies at their Workspheres exhibition. Since 2001, he has acted on the design advisory board of MUJI. He went independent in 2003 and established Naoto Fukasawa Design. He worked on design for a mobile phone, called :INFOBAR, which became very popular and lead the design market for mobile phone in Japan. He also started up the electrical household appliance and sundries brand ±0, and the opening of the ±0 retail store in Aoyama, Tokyo garnered a great deal of attention from not only in Japan but worldwide. In April 2005, he presented his works for 7 major brands at Milano Salone del Mobile and?received great response . As of 2005, he began concurrently acting as a professor at Musashino Art University, a visiting professor at Tama Art University and a special lecturer of interdisciplinary information studies at Tokyo University Graduate School.