Our brand was launched in 2001, when Shigeo Mashiro, Sfera’s founder and creative director, established a design studio in Kyoto. Right from the outset, the company was rooted in Japanese creativity, and aimed at international markets where quality materials and contemporary style matter the most. We set out to make interior accessories that capture the spirit of today, yet are timeless in appeal. With a mission to champion high quality contemporary craft, Sfera creates opportunities for traditional makers to find new markets in Japan and internationally. Each of our products is made from a modern fusion of time-honoured materials, traditional craftsmanship and contemporary aesthetics, resulting in classic styles that inspire individuality and expression.
As a company based in Japan, where quality, aesthetics and functionality are important values, Sfera believe in designs that lasts a lifetime. Our preferred materials are wood, metal, stone and natural fibres, and we regard each one to be a precious resource. All parts of the design and details are carefully thought out, giving each product an individual identity. We aspire to do more than make beautiful objects that belong to today. We strive to create classic designs that spark new styles for tomorrow.
Sfera’s design philosophy reflects our history, but also keeps pace with emerging trends. Our designs are made for modern urban dwellers and international businesses that appreciate contemporary elegance and understated luxury. We work closely with architects and interior designers to forge new dialogues about indoor spaces and provide solutions for a wide variety of environments. As Sfera’s products take their places in interiors throughout the world, our commitment to quality, materials and design excellence travels with them.
Shigeo Mashiro is a name that has become associated with Japanese design throughout the world. Born in Kyoto in 1970, Mashiro has been a pioneer of both contemporary design and traditional craft practices, which he brings together in product ranges, interior architecture, retail concepts and culinary experiences. An early advocate of holistic design, Mashiro’s starting point was finding contemporary expression for natural materials and hand-craftsmanship to create products that engage the senses.
Driven by a vision to unite the various design disciplines into a harmonious whole, Mashiro has brought them together in a wide range of creative projects. An experienced restaurateur, Mashiro opened the Ricordi Italian restaurant in Kyoto in 1995. Ricordi evolved into a unique design environment where food, tableware and interior elements created a harmonious whole. Along with selecting and importing quality products, Mashiro designed original tableware for the restaurant, which earned it a reputation for gastronomy and contemporary style.
Anticipating the growing demand for contemporary craft products, Mashiro established Sfera in 2001, becoming the company’s first creative director. Although the company was rooted in Japanese creativity, Sfera was aimed at international markets from the start. In 2003, Mashiro opened the SferaBuilding in Kyoto, a purpose-built complex consisting of a shop, gallery and café that combined food, entertainment and retail with design and architecture.
The success of Sfera’s Kyoto boutique further fuelled Mashiro’s retail ambitions, and in 2007, the first branch of Sfera opened in Tokyo. In 2010, Sfera launched its showroom in Milan, complete with offices, retail and exhibition space. The following year, Mashiro curated the ‘Future Artefacts’ craft exhibition, which was listed on the Salone Internazionale del Mobile’s events schedule. In 2012, he launched SferaEditions, strengthening the core Sfera brand with the addition of a limited edition product series. A year later, in 2013, Mashiro’s acclaimed pet accessories collection ‘DOnG’ was launched.
From 2010, Mashiro began providing creative direction to other brands, launching the SferaStudio division in 2014 to coordinate production and distribution. Projects have included art direction, retail design and photo styling. Today, Mashiro continues to develop new product ranges and design home accessories, tableware, furniture and food items for Sfera as well as for other brands.