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Interview with Takanori Urata

Home > Designer Interviews > Takanori Urata

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

Interview with Takanori Urata at Friday 20th of May 2022
Takanori Urata
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?
TU: My father was a joiner, and I was influenced by his woodworking at home, so making things was something I did for fun from an early age. I also loved drawing pictures. When I was in junior high school, I first decided that I wanted to be a designer, so I went to a high school specializing in design. After high school, I went on to study design at Kuwasawa Design School, a well-known design school in Japan. After that, I worked for a large company that mainly builds commercial facilities, and then I worked for Tokujin Yoshioka, a world-renowned designer, to study design. Currently, I left Tokujin Yoshioka's office to run my own design firm.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
TU: My design studio has been in business for almost 10 years now. My firm has a wide range of design experience, including architecture, interior design, product design, and logo design. I also founded the award-winning metal cup brand, sunsetclimax, in 2014. sunsetclimax is also my company. We plan, design, manufacture, and sell beautifully designed camping equipment.

FS: What is "design" for you?
TU: For me, design is one of the acts of making the world a better place. When good design and people meet, their feelings are uplifted and they can enjoy their everyday life. If there are more people who are happy every day, the world will be a better place.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
TU: I like to design anything, but if I have to choose one, I like to design architecture the best.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
TU: I like the window display design using scarves at Hermes Ginza Tokyo, which was created by my mentor Tokujin Yoshioka.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
TU: The first product I designed for my brand, sunsetclimax, was a Tarp for camping. It's a beautiful piece; it won the Good Design Award in Japan in 2018.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
TU: My favorite materials are steel, stainless steel, aluminum, titanium, and other metal materials.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
TU: When I am working with the client, the construction company, and the craftspeople to try to complete the project.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
TU: I focus on functionality. I am not interested in designs that are beautiful only in appearance. I think functional beauty is important.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
TU: I feel excited, but at the same time I am anxious about whether I will be able to realize my design.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
TU: It is not so much emotion as gratitude. I am filled with gratitude to the client who gave me the opportunity to design, and to the people involved who helped me to realize the project. I am filled with gratitude to the client who gave me the opportunity to design, and to the people involved who helped make it happen.

FS: What makes a design successful?
TU: I think it is to listen to the client and understand what they are looking for.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
TU: Does it have both function and beauty?

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
TU: Rather than directly appealing to or imposing social or environmental issues, I believe that by combining good design with social and environmental issues in a sensible way, we can I believe it is the responsibility of designers to solve social and environmental problems without imposition.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
TU: The Corona pandemic has increased the number of online interactions, but I think it is very important for people to communicate with each other in person. I hope that things will return to normal soon.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
TU: Last year I participated in an exhibition related to the Corona pandemic. I am thinking about participating in the next exhibition this fall with a new theme.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
TU: Inspiration comes from listening to the client's thoughts. By listening to the client's thoughts and feelings, I sometimes come up with ideas that I would never have thought of on my own.

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?
TU: I believe that the fusion of the client's idea and my design creates a unique design. I also aim for a design that is orthodox, yet long-lasting, simple and elegant.

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?
TU: I live near Tokyo, Japan. My office is in Tokyo. I find that Japan has many seemingly simple but well-selected materials and simple, elegant objects that are very good examples for my designs. I do not feel that there are any drawbacks.

FS: How do you work with companies?
TU: I work for companies so that they can develop with my designs.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
TU: I offer suggestions on how design can increase a company's value.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
TU: First, we carefully listen to Kleinand's thoughts. After many meetings with the client and the craftsmen, we create the ideal design that the client is aiming for.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
TU: 1:Tolomeo Table Artemide 2:usm haller table 3:usm haller cabinet 4 : My New Flame Ingo Maurer 5 : Landi Chair Vitra.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
TU: To have a day that I wouldn't regret if my life ended today.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
TU: I would recommend that they experience a wide range of work and play, including work they don't like, while they are young

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
TU: Positive aspects are that you can always be curious and put in youthful. The negative is that there is no end. (I really feel that the lack of endings is also a positive)

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
TU: Tough question, but I like symmetry.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
TU: When I was in my 20s, I gained experience in construction management and estimating at the company I worked for. There, I was able to understand the entire project flow, which is a very important skill for me. In my opinion, a designer needs to know not only how to design, but also how the design process is realized.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
TU: I always carry a notebook with me. I draw a lot of handwritten sketches of ideas, notes, etc. My camera is also a very important tool for me. I also utilize a PC. I use a variety of applications such as CAD software, Illustrator, Photoshop, 3D modeling and rendering software.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
TU: Time is limited, so I try not to waste it. I always think about what to do and in what order so that I can do two or three things at the same time in one action. For example, I move efficiently when I am working on a drawing. When considering ideas, I think about them while playing or exercising. 31. I am always thinking about how to design something from the beginning to the end.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
TU: It varies considerably from project to project, but it can take as long as several years to complete.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
TU: How do you generate new ideas?

FS: What was your most important job experience?
TU: Among the many work experiences I had under Tokujin Yoshioka, I had many important experiences when I was involved in the Swarovski store design project.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
TU: Architectural developers, dispensary companies, hotels, hardware manufacturers, private owners, etc.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
TU: I like any design work as long as I can work with clients and craftsmen who share my sensibilities.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
TU: I would like to add more items to my brand sunsetclimax. I have endless ideas for tents, tables, etc.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
TU: I do all my own design work. I also meet with the factories and craftsmen.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
TU: I am designing a tent for camping for my brand, sunsetclimax. It is a very elegant design. Enjoy!

FS: How can people contact you?
TU: You can contact me by email at takanori@urata-design.comまで.


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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