+ A | - A

Gwenael Nicolas: There’s Always a Result if You Believe in What You’re Doing

French designer Gwenael Nicolas established his own studio, CURIOSITY INC, in 1998. He was 18 years old when he wanted to become an art director for movies, but later realized that it was much more interesting to do architecture for real.



Nicolas just won the Ku/Kan prize, a prestigious prize in Japan for Space Design. It’s the first time a foreigner in Japan has received the award. Nicholas says that “Beyond the difficulties of life (like being a foreigner in Japan) there’s always a result if you believe in what you are doing.”

He’s born in France and took out his Bachelor of Arts degree in interior design at E.S.A.G, Paris and Master of Arts Degree n Industrial Design at RCA, London. In 1991 he started to freelance in Japan, which lead to his own establishment; CURIOSITY INC.

“I established the studio with producer Reiko Miyamoto, we collaborate with all projects. She judges my ideas with fresh eyes that are outside of design. Design is about curiosity, there is a cure for boredom, it is curiosity, but there is no cure for curiosity. “

He now only works in Japan and describes what’s similar and dissimilar between Japanese and French perception of design: "The similar aspect is the sense of completion and perfection, the result is more important than the process. On the other hand when you present a project, French always ask “WHY” you did it. In Japan they ask “HOW” it was done."


A Constant Dialogue with the Environment

Being a designer is the best job in the world because you create the future. It is everything but walls! I always design projects with a storyboard where the people are the actors. The space, structure is merely a background. I think it is more interesting to imagine the space for choreography of movements, more than structures and materials. I am always wondering why architecture is not in motion and why nothing remains except in the memory. I am always thinking about putting space in motion…using light and movement.

Design is a constant dialogue with the environment: an idea is the rebound of the mind from reality, a projection of an ideal in a far from ideal world. But design does not create design so I do not surround me with objects for inspiration: creativity us an attitude of having an opinion about everything. A constant conversation with yourself using images instead of words. You can play a game: look around you and imagine you can redesign everything. You will not sleep for 3 days of excitement.

Mars Sofa

Glancing into the Future

Presently Nicolas will complete a restautant in Macaom. He first needs to complete a Japanese spa in Switzerland for Sensai Kanebo. He’s also currently working on a perfume a renowned jewelry brand that will be launched in 2011!

"Designers have their body in the present but their minds are in the future with an eye on the past. There is a sense of visceral pleasure when you listen to a good piece of music, even for the first time, it is the same thing when you encounter the creations of creative designers."

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe by RSS!

Leave a comment, or ask a question