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Interview with Teruo Miyahara

Home > Designer Interviews > Teruo Miyahara

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Teruo Miyahara (TM) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Teruo Miyahara by clicking here.

Interview with Teruo Miyahara at Monday 12th of November 2018

FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
TM: I believe fate nudged me towards my profession. One day, I found myself being an architect.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
TM: I established my firm Miyahara Architect Office in 1999 with the motto of designing better spaces. It is a small company, but this means I can make sure enough time is spent on each design and my essence is reflected in each project.

FS: What is "design" for you?
TM: Pure design work is a process that involves identifying what is truly needed, and placing the necessary quantities in the necessary places. Architecture, whether it be a small house for a single family, is the accumulation of this fundamental work process, outweighing all elements of purpose, scale, method of construction, or structure. This is the very essence of design for me.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
TM: I do not have a preference. I like all kinds of works.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
TM: All of my designs are my most favorite design.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
TM: A skyscraper near Osaka station.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
TM: I feel creative when I see something beautiful or taste something delicious, in other words, when something appeals to my five senses.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
TM: I focus on balance. I try to make sure that all of the elements in my design achieve an equilibrium that feels right to me.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
TM: I feel the desire for something better and this needs to be satisfied by finishing the design.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
TM: When I reach the end of a project, I feel sadness. Because then the design is no longer only mine and also belongs to others. For me, it is a farewell of sorts.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
TM: I believe that architectural design has the power to solve all societal issues surrounding our daily lives. Thus, I believe designers have the responsibility to create and achieve these designs.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
TM: I believe it will continue to evolve from the present into the future, as it has done from the past to the present.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
TM: My last exhibition was in 2004 in a gallery in Gunma Prefecture. I hope to hold my next exhibition in 2024.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
TM: I draw inspiration from the shapes of natural things, including plants, fish, people, insects, and mushrooms. My particular favorite is myxomycetes. This is probably why I like going outside and taking walks in the woods regularly.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
TM: I live in Tokyo. I suppose I have been influenced by the traditional wooden structures of Japan, where the beauty of the structural frame (beams, etc.) is the basis of design. My designs may have been influenced by what is internationally described as minimalism.

FS: How do you work with companies?
TM: I offer my services by request and work directly with my client as an equal partner.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
TM: I believe a professional designer should not only be able to address the client’s requests, but also be capable of drawing out hidden desires the client may not be aware of and presenting those ideas.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
TM: In the morning, I spend time sketching with paper and pencil, and in the afternoon, I work with my colleagues at my studio. I also give lectures teaching students at a university on a regular basis.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
TM: I would suggest going out into the world to see things you have not seen before.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
TM: I believe the wonderful aspect of being a designer is to be able to create something out of nothing.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
TM: I always lay out some ground rules for the design in the initial stages of a project, and make a point of breaking one of those rules, or allowing an exception, at the end.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
TM: High communication skills.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
TM: Paper, pencils, and paper models.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
TM: I work on my designs until I am truly satisfied.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
TM: This would depend on the client or project.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
TM: Some people have asked me whether or not prior experience matters, to which I always reply that everything starts from zero.

FS: What was your most important job experience?
TM: My first project after establishing my firm could be described as such. It became a great learning opportunity, allowing me to be aware of everything I needed to know.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
TM: Private individuals, companies, etc.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
TM: I enjoy all design work.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
TM: I develop my designs myself or work as a team depending on the project.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
TM: I am currently working on publishing a book in Japan on the subject of interior design and how it does not depend solely on decoration.

FS: How can people contact you?
TM: By email. Please do not hesitate to contact me.

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
TM: I hope more young people aspire to become architectural designers.


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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