redesigning "normal" socially, ritually, and emotionally


Manako believes in the power of design to change what people think as “normal” socially, politically, ritually, and emotionally. 


Manako Tamura

Manako is a multidisciplinary designer with a background in marketing, supply chain management, and anthropology. Fascinated by the idea that products could shape our understanding of the world through semiotics and practice, Manako first became interested in product design as an undergraduate studying anthropology at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. In the seven years since receiving her BA, Manako has worked in supply chain management for a major Japanese chemical company Toray, and in marketing for an Italian furniture manufacturer Kartell. In both, she dealt with the consequences of design choices—convincing her that a more holistic design approach was necessary.  At SVA's Products of Design MFA program, Manako aims to leverage her experience to design “considered” products, mindful of cultural implications, effects on supply chains, and presentation to the market. When not in the studio, she can be found watching samurai movies, trying various comfort foods from around the world, or expanding her container garden.





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