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John Takamura Jr.

John Takamura Jr.

Associate Professor of Industrial Design, The Design School, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts


The Design School, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts
Arizona State University
PO Box 872105
Tempe, AZ 85287-2105


  • Senior Global Futures Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory
  • Associate Professor of Industrial Design, The Design School, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts
  • PhD Candidate, Sustainability, Arizona State University


Bringing over 17 years of industrial design and branding practice experience, John Takamura has been instrumental in implementing brand and product development programs in both Asia and North America. Early in his career, John was hired by ODS, an international market research and design consultancy, and served as the Design Director for their Industrial Design Division under the guidance of international designers Luigi Colani (Renowned Transportation Designer, DE), Hans Muth (Former BMW Chief of Styling, DE), and Barry Weaver (Co-founder Roberts Weaver Group, UK). John later joined Sharp Corporation’s elite advanced design team in Tokyo where he helped to develop the Sharp ViewCam concept that would later become a standard video camera configuration in the global market. Upon returning to the U.S. John established Takamura Design, a trans-disciplinary design office, servicing clients in Asia and the U.S. from the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1997 John joined Fitch Inc. to establish and manage the Fitch office in Japan. Serving as Vice President of the Japan office, John was involved as the Design Director, Project Manager, and Account Manager for numerous Japanese companies in the automotive, electronics, consumer goods, and service industries, and also served as manager of the Fitch Japan-based innovation lab called the MadLab (Marketing and Design Laboratory). One of John’s most notable programs was the revitalization of the Nissan Motor Company brand. John served as global manager for the international (U.S., Japan, UK) trans-disciplinary design and research team responsible for the creation of the new Nissan brand mark and corporate logo design and branding guidelines. John returned to the U.S in 2001 as Vice President and Director of Client Services for product design at the Fitch San Francisco office. John was responsible for the development and management of all Japanese accounts, and some key accounts within the U.S. consulting in the in-car telematics and computing and consumer information products arena. After leaving Fitch Inc. John was hired to develop and lead a trans-disciplinary design team at X Product Development, a division of Xyron Inc. in Scottsdale Arizona. His responsibilities involved the management of the entire creative team in both industrial design and visual communications as well as to manage the Xploratorium, an innovation lab for creative product development and engineering.

With a major in industrial design, John received his BA in design from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and furthered his studies at Art Center Pasadena. He received his Master’s of Science in Design degree in Human Factors in industrial design from Arizona State University and is a doctoral candidate in sustainability at the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. John is currently an Associate Professor of Industrial Design in The Design School at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University where he teaches both lower and upper division BSD (Bachelor of Science in Design degree) industrial design courses and MSD (Master’s of Science in Design degree) design research and MID (Master’s of Industrial Design degree) graduate design courses. John is active in developing corporate sponsored university research, industrial design, and branding programs within various consumer product and service industries. John works with the First Innovations American Indian Studies program at ASU in teaching classes on American Indian Entrepreneurship for Sustainability where he focuses on Innovation and Branding. John also serves as Director of Design for GlobalResolve™, a social entrepreneurship program at the College of Technology & Innovation at ASU’s Polytechnic Campus where he is responsible for ethnographic research and design programs for products and services intended for the BoP (Base of the Pyramid) market in the developing world.


  • MSD, Human Factors, Arizona State University, 2005
  • BA, Design, University of California-Los Angeles, 1985


External Links

Journal Articles


Takamura Jr., J. H. 2011. Branding for the BoP: Design collaboration with rural villagers in Ghana. Design Management Review 22(1):89-91. DOI: 10.1111/j.1948-7169.2011.00114.x. (link )

Book Chapters


O'Neill, D., J. H. Takamura Jr., N. Chhetri, M. Henderson and B. Rogers. 2012. Frugal Innovation. Pp. 96-113 In: Colledge, T. H. ed., Convergence: Philosophies and Pedagogies for Developing the Next Generation of Humanitarian Engineers an Social Entrepreneurs. International Journal of Service Learning in Engineering: Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship. (link )



Rogers, B., N. Chhetri, M. R. Henderson, K. D. Hristovski, B. L. Ruddell and J. H. Takamura. 2013. A systematic methodology for the development of enterprise at the base of the economic pyramid. Presentation at the 2013 ASEE International Forum, June 22, 2013, Atlanta, GA. (link )