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Interview with Mika Kanayama

Home > Designer Interviews > Mika Kanayama

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

Interview with Mika Kanayama at Monday 16th of May 2022
Mika Kanayama
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?
MK: I studied Interior Design degree in UK for my carrier change. I always wanted to do interior design since I was a child but I spent my youth mostly on music. I realised still had a passion for design that I couldn’t let go, so I pursued to take this as my carrier.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
MK: I set up my design studio, Muzo back in 2018. It’s based in London and specialising in Hospitality - restaurants, bars, cinemas and hotels.

FS: What is "design" for you?
MK: To full fill quality of my life and others

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
MK: I love designing public space where people gather, spend time and share their moments.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
MK: The first project since I set up Muzo was a cinema called The Garden Cinema in London. It's an independent art cinema and I am always fond of this my first project.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
MK: I like mixture of use in materials

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
MK: Concept design stage is always glowing moments, as you have many imaginations in many different ways whether that's possible or not. You are free to come up with anything.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
MK: That the design express honesty and meanings

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
MK: It depends but all complexity of human feeling

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
MK: Joy and pleasure

FS: What makes a design successful?
MK: Be truthful when designing

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
MK: Good

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
MK: To create interior spaces that enrich day-to-day life, encouraging people to feel inspired and invigorated.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
MK: Design is more and more appreciated by more people and many different areas at this time. I hope it carries on to have universal language that have no boundary to countries, age, gender etc.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
MK: Colour in nature is always inspiring and more surprising than artificially put together. Inspiration is everywhere day to day life, in films, galleries, food, walking in nature...

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?
MK: I think my design has organic sense in any form. I like injecting that sense so that you feel connection in the space.

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?
MK: I was born in Japan but now living in London, UK. I could say I have now two backgrounds that make is quite unique in design approach. Pros is definitely having broad minded approach, no cons really.

FS: How do you work with companies?
MK: Always try to understand their needs and try to create something we both feel achieved, not only client satisfaction.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
MK: Design does not happen in a second like miracle. Communication with a designer is always important and to select a design who can listen.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
MK: I often make 3D models when I have ideas.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
MK: Re-upholstered 60's sofa in pink, kitchen got also refreshed spontaneously during pandemic. Rug from 80's. 60's round side table, the loft that is created to receive the design but not completed!

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
MK: Depending on a day, but I currently work from home so mixture of work and home stuff, sometimes out for a meeting, site visits, or in front of computer

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
MK: No one can judge good or bad on your design, be bold and express however you want it. Be playful.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
MK: For positive, to get to express what you have in your mind, healthy way of living Nothing negative about being a designer

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
MK: Be truthful and playful

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
MK: Translating your imagination

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
MK: Skethup is my day to day tool

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
MK: Set a time limit can help sometimes and comes out better ideas rather than spending too long time thinking

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
MK: Could be very quickly or could take days!

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
MK: Can you design something beautiful?

FS: What was your most important job experience?
MK: Every job experience is important and learnt many things in different ways

FS: Who are some of your clients?
MK: Restaurant and cafe owners

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
MK: I love designing restaurants, bars, cafe and cinemas where people gather, spend time and share their moments. It's a pleasure to create a space where people remember as a moment.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
MK: As I am based in UK but have background as Japanese, I'd like to connect those two countries together and share great design elements.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
MK: I mostly develop design by myself

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
MK: Just started a concept design for a flagship restaurant in London. It's still early stage but most exciting phase as you get full of ideas.

FS: How can people contact you?
MK: By email, instagram, through website

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
MK: I think it covered all well.


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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