Yuzuru Yamakawa:Japan

Yuzuru Yamakawa's father started a rattan company in 1952 to create jobs for Yuzuru's two brothers who were both hearing impaired. While helping his father run the company, Yuzuru studied at design school at night. His efforts and talent made Yamakawa Rattan grow to become a world-renowned producer of design-oriented rattan furniture.

With his designs admired by the Japanese and European markets alike, the pieces he produced over a 40-year design career have stood the test of time. His passion for the rattan material is evident in his designs, which are not only beautiful but functional, with an emphasis on ergonomics.

Yuzuru was the co-winner of the Governor of Tokyo Prize in 1954, the a co-winner of the gold medal at the Milan Triennale in 1957, and one of his designs was selected for the permanent collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in 1964.