GK Design Group’s history dates back to 1953, when in Tokyo Japan, six former students of the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music formed GK Group. It was until 1957 that GK group expanded into GK Industrial Design Associates, and Kenji Ekuan became the President. GK was the first group design practice in post-war Japan.
GK Industrial Design Associates established a representative office in Los Angeles in 1966 to service Japanese industries that were trying to market products in the U.S. Then it was converted into a California Corporation in 1972, taking on a new name GK Design International Inc. (GKDI.) In 2002, GKDI opened the first branch office in the Atlanta area using it as an Eastern foothold to expand the field of design activity.
In 2012 GK Design International will reach a milestone anniversary of forty years as a California business. As a member of the GK group we are part of a network of twelve offices located in Japan, USA, Europe, and East Asia.
At GK our goal is design that excels in both function as well as communication. Function can be described as providing utility to the user, profit to the maker, or sustainability to society.
These are all practical and valuable aspects of design. On the other hand, design is not merely adding up a list of features or making a product easy to manufacture; design should communicate a message. This communication is what forms desire or the “dream” in people to own or use a product. GK creates with careful attention given to function as well as the unspoken dialog between people and things.
As GK moves into the future we can see many challenges for design; the U.S. population is entering a period of a large generational shift. Transportation and communication infrastructures are undergoing a monumental paradigm shift. The new and innovative ways we will use energy will also change lifestyles around the world. These large movements will create all-new customer values with new needs to satisfy.
We face an exciting time ahead and I’m looking forward to meeting these challenges with GKDI and the GK Group. I hope you are able to take some time to enjoy our web site as we celebrate a remarkable forty years in design.