Behind the Scenes

TOTO is a global company but it is also Japanese to the core. This is
a guided tour of the hub of creativity that is its Japanese HQ, giving you
an insight into how TOTO works and what makes the company tick.

Research and Development

TOTO prides itself on being a leader in technological innovation – that’s why such a high percentage of its employees work in Research & Development. It is at this initial stage that the idea of Clean Technology begins to take shape and where concepts become reality.

Over 40 million WASHLETs have been sold worldwide – but TOTO isn’t resting on its laurels. Indeed, the opposite is true: it strives to make the best even better. “Other companies focus on adding functions,” observed the engineer who heads the WASHLET development team to Monocle magazine (May 2007 issue). “But I think we should focus on making the basics even better.” For this electronics engineering graduate, working on the WASHLET represents a kind of obsession with purity of purpose. It is an outlook that is characteristic of TOTO’s employees, and the benefits of this philosophy are now being felt across the world.

In the design workshop, TOTO’s exceptional aesthetic eye emerges in the form of Styrofoam models. Monocle spoke to a design team member working on a model of a new TOTO product. “The idea of the NEOREST range is to make it look as simple as possible, almost like a piece of furniture,” he said. Responsible for the look of the latest NEOREST products, this designer was implementing the principles of Clean Technology into the design.

He was happy to reveal his own ambitions in the overall process for Monocle: “Ideally I’d like to create something that would be appreciated by homeowners and design professionals alike,” he said. “We know our customers are already satisfied with the way the product works. Now they’re thinking in terms of lifestyle.”

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