Creators / Nathalie & Naoto

The Finnish-Japanese Naoto Niidome (b. 1974) and the Finnish-French Nathalie Lautenbacher (b. 1974) duo began their collaboration in 2008, when they were awarded the Young Designer of the Year award. Niidome is trained as an interior designer and fashion designer, Lautenbacher as a ceramicist. In their work, they move extensively on the interface between design and art. 

Together, Niidome and Lautenbacher create multidimensional installations, often themed around the human as part of nature – an observer, and, on the other hand, also a moderator of nature. The couple’s Stock installation; a large, space-bound installation of 5500 porcelain cups and various wooden container boxes, has been on display in various forms at several exhibitions in Finland and abroad. They are active also as versatile designers – besides the furniture and tableware industry, clients include several restaurants and public sector entities – the design work varying from liturgical objects for a hospital chapel to a collection of workwear for a vocational school. 

Lokal carries a wide selection of Nathalie’s crockery, all handmade in her Kauklahti workshop. For example, the Lokal series coffee cups were created, and even coloured, specifically for Lokal. Naoto’s works that are for sale at Lokal are mainly unique, multifaceted works of art, their essence resembling utility items. The creators tell us that, within design, they are interested in sticking to the basics, yet striving for something exceptional. The qualities of different materials and the nuances of shapes are always fascinating, and act as inspiration for everything.