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Makoto Kishino

MA work

The Apothecary for Desire

Luxury is a reflection of one’s desire for a pleasure which can be obtained only rarely. No matter whether it is for ‘cessation of pain’ or highly refined objects, the desire have been contoured in reality that the one faces. As Christopher Berry analyses in his book ‘The Idea of luxury’, luxury also cannot be objectively defined since cultural, social, and individual contexts determine what is precious for a person. Especially in an age of abundance yet uncertainty, the definitions of luxury has necessarily become more complex and personal.

However, people are prone to associate luxury with only specific materials and  prestigious brands: what we as consumers have been guided to value, through the dynamics of commercial systems. I object such commercially established image of luxury and the consumers’ mindset that luxury should be materialised in the foam of highly-visible sign of status or/and should be consumed to impress others.

The Apothecary for Desire is an attempt to reframe the idea of luxury and explore alternative approach to creating ultimately ‘personal’ luxury: how a designer could define what pleasing rarity’ is for an individual. Having a consultation with toolkits to untangle complex personal reality, I, as a designer-analyst, try to reach out to a client’s unspoken fear and desire and create an object of his/her desire, informed by the personal narrative. Through a series of representations of several individuals’ luxury, this project also demonstrates what luxury alternatively means today and might be defined as, in future.


  • MA Degree


    School of Design


    MA Design Products, 2017

  • I am a designer, researcher, analyst and interested in decoding the complex relationship between a person and social, cultural, historical, and political contexts. 

    Exploring the interdisciplinary approaches to engage with a person’s hidden fear and anxiety I try to reflect on contemporary phenomena and represent alternatives against the status quo. 

  • Degrees

  • BFA Product Design, Kanazawa College of Art, Japan, 2009
  • Experience

  • Canon Inc. Tokyo, Japan, 2009–2015