Tetsuo Matsumoto

Tetsuo Matsumoto

Architect / Interior Designer


Born in Tokyo in 1929. Graduated from the Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Chiba University in 1953. In 1953, he graduated from Chiba University with a degree in architecture. In 1957, he became the chief designer of Isamu Kenmochi Design Laboratory, and in 1971, he became its representative director. From 1973 to 2000, he worked as a part-time lecturer at the Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, University of Tokyo, Kyushu Institute of Design, Japan Women's University, Bunka Women's University, Construction College of the Ministry of Construction, National Construction Training Center, and Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music. He was a visiting professor at Aichi University of Arts from 2001 to 2005.
As a public official, he served as a member of the G-Mark Selection Committee of the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization from 1970 to 2004, a commissioner of the Japanese National Railways Work Bureau, a member of the Interior Advisory Committee of the Housing Bureau of the Ministry of Construction, a member of the Interior Planner Examination Committee, and a member of the Better Living Certification Committee and Council.
Major awards include the Mainichi Industrial Design Award, the Mainichi Industrial Design Award Special Award, the Japan Interior Designers Association Award, and the International Federation of Interior Architects/Interior Designers-IFI Grand Award.
His major works include, Interiors - Hotel Nikko Saipan, Mitsui Urban Hotel Osaka Bay Tower, Keio Plaza Hotel, Yamagata City Hall, IBM Japan offices, Daito Town Community Center + Surisawa Station Building, Ina Foods Industries Sendai Shop, etc. Transportation - JAL B-747, governmental aircraft, NYK Asuka, JR East and JR Tokai Shinkansen trains, JR East and JR Tokai limited express trains, JR Tokai limited express trains, JR Tokai limited express trains, JR Tokai linear motor car MLU-00X1 development, etc. Products - Tractor Komatsu, Fukiage Gosho furniture, Yakult containers, mass-produced furniture, etc.

Thoughts on Design

In Bhutanese houses, soil from the fields is used to make weir plates, which are then covered with the same soil, and lime is applied to make white walls. However, when the inhabitant dies, the children build a house on the neighboring land, and the parent's house decays and collapses, returning to the earth. The beauty of the decayed houses is that the lives of the people who lived in them have been exposed to the elements, and the horror of their lives appears to have been weathered and purified. I learned that it is a glimpse of the difference between the health of human activity and the greatness of the power of nature. This is also an environmental issue of architecture. I wish to create architecture that is like architecture, that is created mindlessly, sometimes plainly, and with sincerity, and in which one can feel at ease.

Representative work

  • 1989 | Hotel Nikko Saipan Steak House Building

  • 2004 | Ina Shokuhin Kogyo Kantenpa Shop Sendai Branch

  • 1999 | Daito Town Community Center Surisawa Station Building

  • 1999 | Shinkansen Series 700

  • Linear Motorcar MLU-00X1|JR Tokai

  • 1990 | Shinkansen Series 300

  • 1997 | Shinkansen Series E2

Interview (Japanese)

From the exhibition “Secret Source of Inspiration: Designers’ Hidden Sketches and Mockups