Both the Azumis were born in Japan: Shin in Kobe in 1965 and Tomoko in Hiroshima in 1966. They met at Kyoto City University of Art, where they studied product design and environmental design respectively. Their first collaboration was a group sculpture project in their first year in Kyoto.
After graduating in 1989, Shin worked in the personal computer department of NEC, the Japanese electronics group, and Tomoko joined Kazuhiro Ishii's architectural practise. In 1992, Shin won a place on the industrial design course at London's Royal College of Art. Tomoko moved to London with him. She started the RCA's furniture design course in 1993 having spent the previous year studying english and art history at Goldsmith's College.
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