Yoshimi Kono was born and raised in Japan. His grandfather ran a construction company and his father worked for the Ministry of Construction in Japan. Constant exposures and visits to the construction sites and his grand father’s factory, he was naturally influenced to be an architect in the early stages of his life.
He studied architecture in Tokyo and worked for an interior design firm before moving to New York. He was a partner at Vignelli Associates for 14 years and he founded Kono Designs in 2000.
His multi-disciplinary design practice includes architecture and interior design, product design and graphic design as well as corporate identity.
He has won several awards including the 2001 Kitchen & Bath Business Product Innovator Awards for Hardware, the 1994 DDA award from the Japan Display Design Association, the 1994 and 1997 Award of Excellence from the Japan Sign Design Association, the 1995 Award for Best Design from the Japan Typography Association, the 2001, 2005 and 2011 Nikkei New Office Award from the New Office Promotion Association and the 2011 Promotion Award from Japan Facility Management Association. Most recently his Pasona HQ project in Tokyo has been nominated for the 2013 Architizer A+ awards in two categories.