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Kohei Nishiyama

Kohei Nishiyama

Long before the concept of co-creation came to the fore with web 2.0 tools, Kohei Nishiyama invented a Design To Order (DTO) system to reduce the risk of new product development.

Manufacturers could wait until the number of orders for a product reached the break-even point before starting production.

The transactions take place on the

Along with a colleague from design school, he founded elephant design co. to commercialize the DTO system in 1997. Prior to founding elephant design, he was a consultant at McKinsey & Company where primarily handled new product development projects. One notable project was the wireless telecom carrier. His mission was to identify business opportunities for a client’s data-transmission technology, which at that time was completely new to the market. It is now one of the client’s core businesses.

Muji, a popular Japanese design lifestyle retailer, began to use DTO in 2002. Products developed by this system rank in the top 3 in sales revenue. Because of his expertise in product development, Nishiyama is now a design consultant for companies such as Sony. For the past three years, he has been a judge for the Good Design Award Committee, which is organized by the Japanese government.

Nishiyama lived in South America until age 19. He is a graduate of the University of Tokyo and the Kuwasawa Design School, where he studied product design. He is the recipient of several design awards, including the Kuwasawa Design Award (2001).

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