事實上，深澤直人對設計的想法，深受推動民藝運動的柳宗悅影響。他於30歲左右到美國前，首次踏足民藝館，意識到民藝與設計殊途同歸。他於踏足設計行業的初期，常於國外的設計風浪裡飄蕩，柳宗悅的哲學彷彿是他於風浪裡時穩重的錨，讓他看清本設計的本質。深澤直人與Jasper Morrison發起的「Super Normal」活動，傳揚日常生活裡，理所當然得幾近被遺忘的物品的美，以及為無印企劃的「Found MUJI」，走遍日本各個產地，搜尋各地工匠製作的美好日用品，箇中的概念，與「民藝」的主張都不謀而合。
近來，深澤直人於2016年開始，與益子町的三個工房合作，創辦了名為「BOTE & SUTTO」的全新器皿品牌，以日本傳統的造陶技術，製作出符合現今日本和洋相融的飲食文化的器物。益子町是日本重要的陶器產地，每年的陶器市集吸引遊客眾多，然而自從2011年日本東北地震以後，訪客卻突然減少。「BOTE & SUTTO」正是以振興當地產業為目的。
When Naoto Fukasawa was appointed the chief curator of Japanese Folk Crafts Museum in 2012, the decision instantly led to a lot of dispute among the public. Folk crafts are supposed to be utilities created by artisans to accommodate basic needs; they are not supposed to carry any characters of the creator. On the contrary, a designer cannot avoid seeing the items they make as a piece of design work even if their primary focus is to cater to users’ need. Designing is basically the platform for a designer to manifest one’s ability. Some may say artisans design too, but they are different from designers since they actualize the designs by actually crafting the works with their hands, while the designers rely on pen and computer in their working process. This was the presumption many people once had.
In fact, Fukasawa’s interpretation of design was very much affected by Yanagi Sōetsu, the founder of the Mingei movement. Before moving to the United States in his 30s, Fukasawa paid his first visit to the Japanese Folk Crafts Museum. In there, he realized folk crafts and designs are actually both directed towards the same goal and should serve the same purpose. At the beginning of Fukasawa’s career as a designer, the philosophy of Yanagi Sōetsu was the lighthouse that guided him back to the core of design when he felt lost in the sea of western design. Together with Jasper Morrison, Fukasawa advocated the “Super Normal” campaign to promote the easily overlooked beauty of the everyday items. Fukasawa also collaborated with Muji on the “Found MUJI” project, a journey that covers all over Japan to collect beautiful utilities made by craftsmen. All these initiatives of Fukasawa have seemingly well-matched with the idea of folk crafts.
Starting from 2016, Fukasawa has begun another project with three workshops in Mashiko. A tableware brand called BOTE & SUTTO was born from this collaboration. Fukasawa utilizes the traditional techniques of the local artisans to jointly produce potteries that suit the needs of the contemporary Japanese society shaped by both Japanese and western culture. Mashiko is one of the major towns in Japan for pottery production. Their annual pottery market was once a tourist attraction. The market was, however, adversely affected by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and lost its popularity. The BOTE & SUTTO brand was founded precisely for reviving the local pottery industry.
The son of Yanagi Sōetsu, Sori Yanagi was dedicated to bridging up craftsmanship and industrial design during his term as the chief curator of the Japanese Folk Crafts Museum. As the current chief curator, Naoto Fukasawa has as well shown his eagerness to take over to continue on Yanagi’s mission.