Aki, the daughter of Japanese jewelry creators, was born in Paris in 1974 but grew up in Tokyo. After spending a year in the United States, she returned to Paris at the age of 18 to study interior and product design at the Ecole Camondo where she met Arnaud, a native of northern France who was born in 1973. He became interested in art during childhood and studied contemporary art in Belgium before moving to Paris. Since they opened their A+A Cooren design studio in 1999, they have worked for brands as varied as Shiseido, Artemide, L'Oréal, Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres, Yamagiwa, Saint Louis, Boffi Bains, Cartier and Vertigo Bird on interior, product and furniture design projects as well as scenographies. They also create special pieces for private customers and collaborate with architects on interior design projects. The pair won a Villa Medicis Hors les Murs residence in 2007 and spent several months in Denmark to research ‘natural and artificial light’.
Through their minimal, simple Japanese-French design aesthetic, they seek to integrate subtle references to nature in the everyday interiors and objects they create. Design for them is all about context and the act of sharing: sharing ideas, sharing with people of companies and, above all, sharing with users. They see design as everything that surrounds us whether it is industrially made or hand-crafted, and proceed to form new ideas in harmony with their industrial, temporal and economic contexts. These reflections create harmonies that, just like nature, constantly evolve and gradually immerse the user in the present moment.