What made you decide to become an industrial designer?
When I was in kindergarten, I longed to become a film director. But as I grew up, I started to dream of being a designer or an artist rather than a film director, because I realized that they can express their own views through tangible objects. Gradually I became interested in industrial design. Designers can enrich people’s lives, and advance them one step ahead. They can move people’s hearts, and evoke deep emotions. Their products can initiate new kinds of communication, and might even contribute to solving social problems. For these reasons, I decided to become an industrial designer.
In your opinion, what types of people are best suited for the profession of industrial design? What is a typical industrial designer like?
There are various types, I think. For example, a person who likes to surprise his friends, a person who cannot help but love beautiful tools, or a person who gets so obsessed with one thing that he even forgets about sleeping. The designers I have met, whom I respect, have one thing in common. They have an ability to identify with people, and to always keep thinking.
Where did you study industrial design and what was the most important thing you learned?
I majored in industrial design at Tama Art University, in the Product Design Department. My four years there were filled with important things to learn. The most important thing I gained were friends who all think the same way as I do. Though I left school, they are still a great support for me, and we have strong friendships even today.
I have also learned that personal growth is reflected in design work, so it’s important to keep thinking as a creator, and not to provide “answers” too soon.
Tell us about the projects you are working on now.
I cannot talk about the details, but I work on stationery, bags, suitcases, and also installation design at nendo.
What do you most love about industrial design?
Compared to other design professions, an industrial designer works with a lot of people in different fields. An industrial designer is like a cook or a film director; we create harmony by arranging complex relationships between people from various types of industries, situations, and countries. We make products that are not only beautiful looking, but also have the potential to make people rethink themselves and their lives. In order to be able to do this, we creators have to face ourselves first.
As an industrial designer, what is your biggest dream?
Today, the practice of industrial design is spreading across various fields and directions, well beyond mass production. With the advance of 3D printers, within ten years the making of things will likely spread into ordinary homes as well. When the era arrives in which the boundaries of professionals and amateurs is eliminated and everyone can do 3D tracing easily, I want to be a designer who can design “real” things—not superficial or makeshift products—and design with strength, integrity, and honesty.