A. Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a kind of twisted, selfish, difficult person.In a way, all designer kind of people wants to be different from others, so. . . : )
And I am always thinking what to do, which also means thinking of what not to do in another word. However, I am not living so strictly on myself . . . my goal is to become nasty, lazy old man, but a good designer!
B.What’s your favourite part of the design process?
Sperks of welding, smell of oily steel, sound of machine, smell of freshly cut wood and smell of product freshly painted. During my school time, in Japan and in Finland, I wend to workshops to build models before making drawings. I am not educated as craftman, but playing real materials and seeing the object in real life (real scale) was the most exciting part of thinking design for me.
C.Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer?
mmm. . .I do not know. . . I just like thinking new, thinking of the future. . . Perhaps, in my childfood, my parents were not so welthy who can provide fun for kid, like taking me to the amusument park on weekend, buying me a lot of toys or going for familiy trip on holidays. Instead, I must had found fun by myself. Catching fish and insects in the river and mountain. Making the bow out of bamboo cut from mountain. Stealing fruite from firmers land. Trying to reach as far as possible by bycicle in one day. . . so on.
D.Where do you get inspiration?
Everything. . .Observation and thinking on them.
E.What was the movie or book that impressed you the most?
Cannot tell just one, but if I have a hobby, besides making things, it is watching movies. I almost wach something everday, and if I like it I wach several times. My favorite directors are, for example, Luc Besson(Many of his earier movies), Hayao Miyazaki(animations), Krzysztof Kieślowski, Partrice Leconte.
F.Can you describe your style, how has that style developed over the years?
I would like to discribe my work in a few words which I keep in my mind all the time.
1, Al dente of couse, this is Italian word, as you know, the straight translation is “At the teeth”. When I use this word for design, I mean the design which is not over cooked, which is at right moment. The design which has a space for the users, how to use it and where to use it. In another word, I want my design to compleate on the hand of user, like Pasta should be right moment to eat on the table, not at the kitchen. Each user can find the way to live with it. I could explain it als with the word “Playfullness”, which i do not mean toy or guggets like fun. But something, users can also put thier mind in it in simple manner. For example, “Miyake”Lamp (Carat in former name),I like Japanese and Italian food most!. . ., because both of the food appriciate the original materials in the way that you always know what you are eating. I prefer to eat fresh shurimp in the shurimp shape rather than eating it as the pudding shape patè . . . I have the similer preferable in design as well.
Although you may know it, I discribe a bit, This is the english word which had created in the 18th century by a British author. And I heard there is any other language has a word for the same meaning. “Serendipity” means that the ability or talent of discovering the valuable or interesting matter accidentaly while looking for something else. I like this word very much, becasue the word dose not point the fact of discoverly itself, but the ability of leading yourself to the discoverly. I think the word is more common amoung the scientists, becasue many of great discoverlies and inventions had been made unporposely. But I believe this word works perfectly for designing work as well. Something like, go to the mountain to pick up the mashrooms, and find the truffe by finding the track of a wild-pig digged holes. . . Many of my designs are born apart from an original porpose of thinking, I am always trying to keep my mind open and flexible . . . trying to not rule myself by own knowlege, or juge the matters only with my own moral. . . for not missing unexpected interests. Serendipity . . . keep reminding it myself
3, A way to the future
For me, only way to justify the further production, materialization, consunption and so on is to seek the future. I would like to create something which leads us to tomorrow, which makes us dream about tomorrow’s life. I believe design is very good language to realize it. Ofcouse, it is not only about form, but also functionality, useability, material, technilogy and sastainbilty issue concerning the future. There is one my favorite words(I forgot who said that. . .), When Aporo has landed on the moon, someone said “American made it not because they worked hard and find the way, but because they desided to go there in the begining.” or “all the great inventions in our world had started as one’s ideal and ended as everyone’s reality.” This one is said by Austrian politician who first had the concept of EU. Designing is not exactory the invention, more like culture and living activity itself which human has been doing for long long time since we start use stone as tools. But the idea of useing stone as help of hand brought us to next step of civilization. Therefore, even today, I believe what I do or designers do is the contuniation of it. The attemption of creating better, safer, more comfortable and more intriguing future.
So for me, design is “a way”, a way to the future!
G.For you what makes a product rare?
Seriouse challenge of designer and producer.
H.Regarding the future, are you afraid of something?
No. I am not afraid of anything. We have been always creating the future with seriouse concerns of the time.
Studio Arihiro Miyake