The Japanese designer Arihiro Miyake was born in 1975, in Kobe, Japan. He graduated with a BA in the Industrial Design Department in Kobe Design University year 1999. He kept studying in Helsinki, Finland and graduated year 2002 with a MA at the University of Art and Design where he today works as a teacher. He’s also an interior architect for the JFDA, which stands for the Japanese Finnish Design Association.
1. What is the best aspect of being a designer?
Being myself and communicating with people from all over the world through such a peaceful topic, design.
2. What is the main difference between Japanese and Finnish design?
Finnish simplicity comes from pure needs and its substance and Japanese simplicity may come form refinement, I suppose. Even though the results of these two styles look similar, the process to reach them there is different.
3. How have your designs changed since you graduated in 1999?
I’ve slowly been finding myself and my own interest in design. I believe it has become a more and more of a personal approach.
4. How do you think the future’s design will look like?
Totally catastrophic, or completely white???
I will never know . . . I hope it will be fantastic in any sense.
Obviously, there will be more responsibility in furniture industries and for designers when it comes down to sustainability issues. In the bases of design, I believe there will be new materials, new technologies and new design. That is what we all would like to see. I believe that our world, people and time we live with, is always in process, so I create a next step. The future should always be built with our dreams and curiosity of seeing the new.
5. Do you have a favorite product that you’ve designed?
Everything and Nothing . . . it is very difficult for me to tell. . .
Anyhow, I would say, at the moment, the lamp called "Carat". Because, in this small and simple object, my interest and thoughts towards design are represented.
6. Is it difficult to teach design?
Yes, I think so.
I personally believe that you can teach some basic skills, like for instance computer programming, how to make technical drawings and so on, but not design itself. Perhaps, you can only show it.
For instance, if I know exactly what good design is, I can be the greatest designer ever!
But I do not think anyone does. Plus, that is because the nice thing about design is if there were 100 people, there would be 100 different interests.
7. Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere in the world. I observe both materials and non materials, and I try to catch a sense that leads us to the future.
8. Your new Fort Partition System is cool, how did you come up with the idea?
I am always looking for the sense of the future, in appearance, function, material and technology. In case of "Fort", it is all about the material and its technique to produce those PET fiber pieces and I sought and connected to the best functions which potentially reveals them.
9. You’ve been working with the French restaurant in Tokyo “Tooth Tooth” And you’ve made a chair that is called Bon Voyage. Do have a special love for French design?
That is an interesting point! Actually, it is a simple coincident . . . French restaurant was a task which was given by my client.
Bon Voyage is only a name I though fits with the image of the chair, flying or an air plain.
(Although, of course, I do like French food, movie and etc a lot, but that goes for Japanese and Italian as well.
10. What advice do you have for an aspiring designer?
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