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Interview with Shinya Nomiyama

Home > Designer Interviews > Shinya Nomiyama

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

Interview with Shinya Nomiyama at Wednesday 29th of April 2020
Shinya Nomiyama
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?
SN: My design work's background is in the childhood when I was playing the piano. My piano teacher taught me a lot of beautiful things in this world besides piano. He took me to the place where lively great nature exists, taught me how to enjoy green tea and coffee, how to shoot the camera, off course how to listen to the music. He always asked me "What do you think? and Why do you think so?". Those precious questions and answers are the base of my today's work and leads me to the answer to what I design.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
SN: Space Orchestra is named for the design like symphony. Our work cannot be completed by ourselves. It is always accompanied with a client, constructor, craftsman and woman, environment, material, furniture and so many elements. We are challenging to organize those many elements and sublimate as the design work like symphony for the matter.

FS: What is "design" for you?
SN: Design is the one of the way to express invisible matter to visible. The important essence of design is how we build the concept between client's request and the matter what they don't see, but we see. Design is one of the best invention to communicate with a client. I always get excited in my mind when I come up with the design as a answer for the task.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
SN: We like designing architecture, interior space and furniture.We are good at designing space in total.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
SN: My most favorite design is "Honey Pop" by Tokujin Yoshioka. It redefines the relation between human and chair through its construction, which means that the experience though "Honey Pop" let us think what "sitting on chair" is. Honey Pop has clear concept what it is for.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
SN: I worked for a residential renovation project.It was about 80㎡ apartment project which was needed to design the balance between family wants and costs.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
SN: I like to mix raw material with processed one. Generally, the contrast often let us realize the each character at ease, so that I consciously use this attitude to where I want to emphasize for the concept.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
SN: I get excited when I come up with an idea which as it is supposed to be for the concept. The process is creative when the all design matter is being solved along with the concept.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
SN: As I mentioned, our philosophy is "find your color between gray". Building the concept for the project and giving it a proper shape. It is the most exciting attitude for our design work.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
SN: It is like in "flow"by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. I always lose my time when I build up design.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
SN: Honestly, I feel relief when it is realized rather than the feeling of accomplishment.It is difficult to feel pleasure right after the completion because I was in the battle in the design.As time goes by, I feel pleasure rise in my heart "it was good work".So that I cannot stop designing, it is tough though.

FS: What makes a design successful?
SN: It is a concept building. It depends on how we build the concept for a project.This world is consist of a lot of things and balancing with each other. The attitude is important what we have to focus on and what we have to ignore for each project.Building concept and give it a shape along with it lead to successful design having the philosophy.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
SN: If it is clear what a designer wants to do. It should not be only beautiful as a shape but it also should be along with the concept. If so, a design goes to be clear to see what a designer wants to do.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
SN: We designer have to keep asking what we believe through designing. It can be a chance to connect with various people through designed matter.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
SN: I will be in everywhere in our daily life much more than before. After coronavirus, we will think how we live the lives and what we focus on our lives. Design is the one of the answer for the coming world.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
SN: The last exhibition was in my architecture work touring. Anytime I am needed.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
SN: My design inspiration often comes from nature. Natural molding always has reasonable form, including color. When I find beautiful object in daily life, I consider why it has this shape or why it has this color. Diving into it and pretending to be itself become my stock of designing.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
SN: I focus on if it is beautiful and it is reasonable for the concept. I might can say my style is "Concept Formism" I always asking myself why I am doing this what this is for? The attitude of questioning is my style of design.

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?
SN: I live in Fukuoka, Japan. We have diversified environment. The place where I live in is near to sea, forest, city. It is important to be near nature and civilization because we live in "this world". I am not sure if it is good or bad, but I'm sure that I am enjoying my life.

FS: How do you work with companies?
SN: I am a representative for the company as a designer.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
SN: Good designers have good eyes to find something good in your company what clients forget or don't see. Good designers are good at communication, but it does't mean they don't always say "Yes".

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
SN: I start my design with conversation with the client asking what they want. Then start sketching and drawing searching for a concept. Show the concept to the client with something physical thing, like a model or CG.Then conversation and conversation to the completion.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
SN: 1, vintage sideboard by white&newton designed in detail 2, sofa by japanese craftsmanship 3, caravaggio wall lamp by Cecilie Manz 4, danish vintage coffee table 5, my order made work bag I designed

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
SN: I start with taking shower and a cup of coffee at balcony. Then watering plants thinking nothing. check my schedule what I have to do with priority. At the day off , I go to sea for windsurfing.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
SN: I think it is important to just keep designing as a way of living. Designing in this society is really good experience as a member of this world.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
SN: Being designer is tough because we have to tell that is wrong even though that is right for them. So the way of telling and communication skill is important more than anything. Sometime we don't have to meet their needs but we have to meet "our needs". It is one of our job that taking our clients to different value. After tough work with client, big pleasure will come.If I always meet to just client's needs, I am not a designer now.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
SN: It is keep on thinking until I think I want to do it.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
SN: It is communication to achieve good work. We have to tell and let client convinced our idea with various way through communication, not forcing them.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
SN: I use a pen for first sketch, and confirm the detail with CAD. Making CG visual with computer.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
SN: I just quit when I cannot come up with an good idea. Walking outside, go to sea, enjoy windsurfing, drink coffee anything to forget what I have to think. Then, sooner or later it will come for sure. I don't know why...

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
SN: It depends on the project. It always takes time when you want to do something new what nobody knows how to do it.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
SN: I am sometimes asked what I am thinking about. I tell them it is nothing special.

FS: What was your most important job experience?
SN: It"s when my idea was totally denied. At that time, I made a presentation like "this is the only answer for you". That presentation was really stupid... I think I was stupid now.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
SN: individuals, companies

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
SN: I like designing space and enjoying working with people I like. The working environment influences the result.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
SN: I would like to work worldwide and meet a lot of interesting people who break my existing thought.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
SN: I like working as a team. It can go beyond myself.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
SN: I am thinking about how the life space should be after coronavirus world. For example, residence has to have remote work environment and how it relates with family space or private time.

FS: How can people contact you?
SN: feel free to make a contact with e-mail


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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