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The mood of Roman Akira Frankel, founder of


Kira is primarily the expression, in a character object, of an identity and a history, that of a child of Japan in search of a fair balance. In the subtlety of a line and the intensity of a color, Roman Akira Frankel praises the shadow through a collection of lacquered lamps.


Founded in 2022 in Paris, Kira oscillates between tradition and modernity, lightness and depth, design and sculpture, to create objects filled with meaning and significance. Drawing on Japan’s aesthetic vocabulary, the collection invites contemplation.


The finesse of the line extends all the way to Milan. Kira’s creations are on display at Labò from April 16th to 20th as part of Milan Design Week and can be found at the Goodmoods Galerie.

2023 Collection © Kira

What is your madeleine de Proust?


Since my beginnings, I have been carried by my childhood memories of Japan and the aesthetics they evoke. I often think back to my grandparents’ house in Tokyo. I am very attached to this culture, its traditions, and its objects. Its large wooden buildings, where I slept on a futon on the floor, my childhood toys, like this gara-gara bell given to me at birth. All these little relics, full of nostalgia.”

Toshiro Lamp © Kira

“What interests me in objects are their meanings. Today, I still have this approach. Beyond the design, I try to tell a story. Making sense by creating a feeling of familiarity, which through a line, a material, or a color will evoke an emotion.”

Yoshiko Lamp detail © Kira

Do you have the same sensitive view of Japan as when you were a child ?


“Over time and through encounters, my sensitivity has evolved. Before founding my studio, I worked for a year with architect Sou Fujimoto in Tokyo. Through his work, I opened new doors to reflection. He has a unique way of rethinking space, breaking codes, and developing a proposal that oscillates between architecture and sculpture. Always with a desire for modernity, but never gratuitous. Always justified and thoughtful.”

Toshiro Lamp © Kira

Passionate about drawing, why did you first turn to architecture?

Sketch © Kira

“Since I was a child, I have been drawing. I have always been very sensitive to my environment, its shapes, lights, and colors. I loved observing, then redrawing. By turning to architecture, I wanted to bring tangibility to my drawings. That they anchor in reality and time. Whether through architecture or design, I like this idea of conveying a message that can endure over the years.”

Yoshiko Speciale Lamp © Kira

Sketch © Kira

Wall lamp Kobe Dark red © Kira

How did the Kira project come about?

Toshiro table lamps © Kira

“Kira was officially launched in September 2022 at the Maison & Objet trade show. Design has long been in the back of my mind, then the idea developed over the course of my projects. Originally, I am an architect but drawing is what drives me above all. By founding Kira, I was able to open a new creative window and convey a different intention. Bring a more personal proposition through design, focusing on the object.”

Yoshiko Lamp © Kira

How do you dialogue between architecture and design?


“In my early architecture projects, I followed a very geometric and conventional vocabulary of forms. Then, I turned towards a more sculptural approach by dialoguing between curves and materials. When I imagined the Faby wine bar in Paris and the Kira collection, I wanted to work with clay in all its possibilities. Burned, fossilized, ceramic or lacquered, the material is at the heart of my work. The creative intention is quite common to these two types of projects. In architecture or in design, I always inject the same reflection around the object, the lines, the materials, and the craftsmanship, never forgetting to think about it in space.”

What has been the common thread

of your research?


“In Japan, there is this ambivalence between modernity and tradition. I like to find this balance in my objects, try to bring a new perspective. Turn a lampshade upside down, oversized a base, while drawing on traditional references. The craftsmanship of clay and lacquer.”

Toshiro Lamp © Kira

“When I designed and produced the Kira collection, I drew from the Japanese aesthetic vocabulary. I worked extensively on curves, texture, and lacquered finishes. The lamps are high-end pieces, but that does not necessarily imply ostentation. Something very refined can be expressed through a pure line, a deep color, or precisely diffused light. It is through this balance that the object makes sense and elicits an emotion.”

Toshiro Lamp Blue © Kira

Toshiro Lamp Blue, Detail © Kira

What place do you give

to function in creation?


By focusing on design, I felt that function was being set aside. So when I founded Kira, I wanted to put the object back at the center of the room. Give meaning to the object through its functionality and work its form in harmony with its use. When designing lamps, we cannot forget about function. Light can transform the object; it allows us to say something when it is turned off, and then again when it is turned on.

Toshiro Lamp © Kira

Yoshiko Lamp © Kira

For you, does light have an aesthetic force?


“Completely. Light has an aesthetic contribution and can change the meaning of the object. That’s why I worked a lot on the form, in harmony with the light. On the Toshiro lamp, I drew these four lacquered ears that diffuse the light differently. When turned on, the lamp tells a different story; the colors and lines change. »


« I was greatly influenced by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki’s essay, In Praise of Shadows. He explains how function and form are balanced. In creating Japanese ceramic pots, the artisans delicately worked the broken enamel so that the light would diffuse. I find it very powerful when beauty is justified.”

Toshiro Lamps © Kira

What emotions do the collection evoke for you?

Toshiro Lamp Green © Kira

“Each piece of the collection has a particular meaning. Toshiro was the name of my grandfather, and Yoshiko the name of my grandmother. Toshiro follows massive, statuesque curves, whereas Yoshiko evokes a different, more delicate and sensitive imagery. I transposed a very personal emotion into my drawings. Yet, I love the idea that a design is revealed through its lines, its color, its space, and the one who possesses it. It is at this moment that the soul enters the object.”

Toshiro inspiration, the grandfather

The collection is at the Goodmoods Galerie !

Always in search of meaning and balance, what will be your next projects?


“By founding Kira, I imagined several lamps that you will discover over time in the form of capsule collections. I find that there is a real creative window to explore in this field. And currently, I am working on my first furniture collection, which will follow the same aesthetic language. To concentrate on the essence of the object to draw a harmonious and accomplished line.”


A place that makes you nostalgic?


“The traditional house of my grandparents in Tokyo, Japan.”




An object that takes you back to Japan?


“The traditional wooden bell from my childhood, the gara-gara.”

An architectural building that inspires you?


“The Taiwan Tower by Sou Fujimoto. He reimagined the tower, not as a vertical structure but as a linear space.”



A music that soothes you? 


“Always with me by Yumi Kimura.”

« Always with me » Yumi Kimura

A scent that takes you on a journey?


“The scent of the sea, the forest, and the blazing sun.”

Am letzten Tor, Anselm Kiefer © Georges Poncet

An artwork that moves you?


“A painting by Gao Xingjian that is exhibited at my parents’ place. I am also deeply moved by the works of Anselm Kiefer.”

The Destiny, Gao Xingjian

The goods of Roman

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