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Toshihiko Sakai Designs


Toshihiko Sakai Designs

Today's featured designer is Toshihiko Sakai. Toshihiko Sakai is the creator of iconic designs such as Kotori 501 and R2300 Series.

We had the rare opportunity to interview the exalted designer Toshihiko Sakai who was recently announced as the Designer of the Day by the A' Design Award and Competition. Toshihiko Sakai is the creator of iconic designs such as Kotori 501 and R2300 Series. We got exclusive answers to our questions about Toshihiko Sakai designs and design philosophy.
Toshihiko Sakai, how did you become a designer?
Toshihiko Sakai : The first time I thought about Design was in high school. At that time, I was looking at motorbikes but I did not find any that looked good for me. That was the first time I told myself that I wanted to design motorbikes, and do Design as my job. After university I was sure I wanted to do design, especially working on different products starting from the product development itself. ...
Toshihiko Sakai Designs
Toshihiko Sakai, what are your priorities, technique and style when designing?
Toshihiko Sakai : The most important thing is that the style must feat the concept and fit to the client request. As I create products for others and not for myself, I do not think that there is something that I integrate in every project. To make the products I use both my hands and technology. The process I am using starts by thinking, then express yourself by drawing, and then use the 3D as well as prototypes. New technologies are great and help me to think differently and about new designs. Also, while creating a new project, I always experience the universe linked to the product I have to create. If you have to create a tent, go camping so that you understand what the product generates as feelings, experience and so that you can understand how it works. ...
Toshihiko Sakai, which emotions do you feel when designing?
Toshihiko Sakai : I am always happy and calm. I cannot create if I am mad so I will just do something else and then go back to work to be in a good mood. The phase I am the most excited about is making the concept and styling. It is also really satisfying to see the finished prototype and be able to find the right shape for each creation. I am never bored. I like making something such as cooking or gardening. I find the same feeling in design by doing something from the beginning to the end....
Toshihiko Sakai Designs
Toshihiko Sakai, what particular aspects of your background shaped you as a designer?
Toshihiko Sakai : Growing up in a good family, my grand-mother lived in a really beautiful and traditional Japanese house. I experienced this as my ordinary life, thus traditional features are now part of me. One of the people that influenced me back then, was one of my teachers. He told us that “If some powerful man or Authority order you to change your design, will you follow them without resisting? If so your design and concept has no meaning.” I think it was really important words because you have to stay true to yourself. He also told us that if we wanted to be a good designer, if someone in the future offered us to be a teacher we must accept it, and this is what I did....
Toshihiko Sakai, what is your growth path? what are your future plans? what is your dream design project?
Toshihiko Sakai : One of the project I have in mind at the moment would be to create a resort hotel, even in a big city, thinking of everything. It does not necessarily have to be luxurious but must be a place with great food, perfect service and lots of smiles between customers and employees. Here the hostel are a little bit too formal. I would like to create more relation between people.I do not need people to remember me. As I am doing product for others, and that I do not want to show my style in products, I don't feel the need to be remembered for my own style. ...
Toshihiko Sakai Designs
Toshihiko Sakai, what are your advice to designers who are at the beginning of their career?
Toshihiko Sakai : Don't be serious and don't be scared of failing. Experience as much as you can.I never experienced big troubles in my career, but if I had to talk about one thing would be when clients didn't pay. I would say that one of the best ways to grow your knowledge is to keep asking questions about places, materials, history etc....
Toshihiko Sakai, you are truly successful as a designer, what do you suggest to fellow designers, artists and architects?
Toshihiko Sakai : I do not particularly consider myself as truly successful, but if I could give one advice it would be to stay true to yourself. Do not do work that you do not want to do. Also, mistakes that can be common may be to follow too much the clients. If you have the feeling that the project is not going into the right direction, it is important to express it and to communicate. Don't follow them just to please them, and then just try to explain what you think. ...
Toshihiko Sakai Designs
Toshihiko Sakai, what is your day to day look like?
Toshihiko Sakai : I start working at 10:00 and finish at 19:00. Sometimes I have appointments, sometimes I just stay in my office to work. It depends on days. I do not read that much of design magazines. I do not consider my days as boring, but sometimes I like to go on Facebook to escape....
Toshihiko Sakai, how do you keep up with latest design trends? to what extent do design trends matter?
Toshihiko Sakai : I go to shops in Tokyo because we can find pretty much of every new design and design trend. I would rather develop something on my own. But I prefer to add some “trendy shape” to create new things. The shape of it must be logical, beautiful and to wear “the time” it is made in. The trend is the shape of time. I get my inspiration only from a word, chosen in link with the project, which could explain the project as precise and beautiful....
Toshihiko Sakai Designs
Toshihiko Sakai, how do you know if a product or project is well designed? how do you define good design?
Toshihiko Sakai : I think a good design is easy to understand with beautiful details. It's also recognisable by heart, it is a global feeling. The mistakes to avoid would be that the product is not connected to the concept. It is simple to say, but hard to do; especially when many people work on the project. ...
Toshihiko Sakai, how do you decide if your design is ready?
Toshihiko Sakai : If it is natural it means it is ready. If some details are not natural, you have to look at the product from afar and then correct them. At the end the product is 70%, or more, close to what I designed then it is good for me. I can consider it a success when many people buy it.Even if I want to do something else, I will do it on another version. ...
Toshihiko Sakai Designs
Toshihiko Sakai, what is your biggest design work?
Toshihiko Sakai : My biggest project is called COMCOM project. In a team, we had to re-think a whole home electric appliance system. We designed 20 to 30 brand new home electric appliances and its functions. It was my first time creating a product line for one company. Unfortunately, this project has never been launched, but it is still one of my most exciting project....
Toshihiko Sakai, who is your favourite designer?
Toshihiko Sakai : I love most of the designers, but I don't have any favourite one. I am more concerned about the product itself than the designer. But if I was given the chance to talk to a designer who is already gone, it would probably be Eileen Gray. I would like to hear, directly from her, her passion for design. This is not really my type, but the Katana motorbike from Suzuki is a really important design for me. This motorbike was totally different from other motorbike at the time, and I was really shocked by how the advanced configuration capabilities can change the shape. This is how I realised all the possibilities of design. ...
Toshihiko Sakai Designs
Toshihiko Sakai, would you tell us a bit about your lifestyle and culture?
Toshihiko Sakai : I really like Kyoto. This city is a mix of old and new things. I don't know if music influence me or not but I always have the radio turned on. I prefer radio so that I do not have to think about it. Yes, I think that my culture affects my design. Japanese culture is made of simplicity and restraint. I think this is something which is part of my way of thinking design. I do not think that the kind of design I am doing change the society. I hope to find more and more design in society, but I do not think that people care about it too much. The main thing they are looking at is the price and not so much about the rest. I hope it could change. Design is really important for me. Well made products make me feel at ease and calm. ...
Toshihiko Sakai, would you tell us more about your work culture and business philosophy?
Toshihiko Sakai : I find it easy to work since I love my job. It depends on the projects. Sometimes I work alone, sometimes I work as part of a team. Since I choose the person I am working with, I think it is quite easy to work together because I am looking for someone that can be complementary to me. I am looking for someone that makes me excited, somebody that can bring me something, and that can create things I would never think about. One important thing about my work is that my design is logical. Thus, I can explain everything. Nothing is left to chance. The most challenging part of a project is, first of all, to be able to connect with your client and change their mind if the project doesn't seem to go on the right path. Also, time is very limited for every project so the challenge here is to make complete project within the time. And also, do your best! The main responsibility I have is to create a balance between making benefits to my clients and be respectful to the environment. If we talk about other kind of responsibilities, I do not think that we take risks as designer. Most of the risks are for the company. Our main risk would be to damage the environment, so we have to be careful about that. ...
Toshihiko Sakai Designs
Toshihiko Sakai, what are your philanthropic contributions to society as a designer, artist and architect?
Toshihiko Sakai : I do not think that I help people with my design. I would like to be part of that, but I think this is a task for other people than me. People have big troubles in their life, so I don't think that what I am doing can help them. This is just not the aim of it. My design is not about helping people, but doing beautiful things. I think that being a teacher is a way for me to give back the community what fostered me. Sometimes I do pro bono design work. If companies are passionate but do not have enough money I try to help them as much as I can. For example, I worked on the branding of a tomato farm, but they didn't have enough money so we got paid with tomato. I think it is a good thing that people get themselves involved with humanitarian projects. But I think that in Japan we are kind of far, also by information, from the countries that could be helped. After the earthquake in the north of Japan, many people such as designer, artists, etc. try to do many things, but nothing really succeeded. So I think that, for the moment, designers cannot do so much about those kind of problematic. The most suited person, in my opinion, may be the engineers that have more knowledge. I think that there are several good designs. The ones that can be funny, beautiful, cute, etc. I have to feel something from it. To get myself involved with design invents to support young designers, I have been a jury for a competition in Hong Kong, for example, and I keep on being a teacher. ...
Toshihiko Sakai, what positive experiences you had when you attend the a’ design award?
Toshihiko Sakai : My client and I were really happy. Being on a design competition is a good way, for my client, to gain in visibility. I do not think it can launch my career since I already started a long time ago, but this is always a happy feeling to see your work being praised and see that people believe in the quality of your design. I think that competitions are really a good opportunity for young designers to make them believe in themselves. I remember my first award, it was really a great feeling. ...
Toshihiko Sakai Designs
Toshihiko Sakai, can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
Toshihiko Sakai : I founded Sakai design associates Ltd in 1992. After the economic crisis, many people lost their job, and I was one of them. Then, I spend one year in Australia. It is when I came back to Japan that I decided to open my Studio. Having a studio and doing design is a real opportunity to work on many different projects with other people, from different background and profession. This is what I also appreciate in this job. ...

Toshihiko Sakai, thank you for giving us the opportunity to interview you... To learn more about Toshihiko Sakai and check more designs by Toshihiko Sakai as well as to see more Toshihiko Sakai designs such as Kotori 501 and R2300 Series visit designeroftheday.com/?216051
Toshihiko Sakai Designs
We hope you enjoyed our interview of Toshihiko Sakai. This interview was made possible by the contributions of A' Design Award and Competition - The World's largest and most influential design accolade. A' Design Award is an annual, international design award open to both concept stage and realised works by designers, artists, architects and brands worldwide. A' Design Award and Competition aims to create a public awareness and understanding of good design by promoting the best designers such as Toshihiko Sakai and their design works worldwide. Visit designaward.com to learn more.
REFERENCES/BIBLIOGRAPHY:
https://competition.adesignaward.com/designer.php?profile=216051 https://competition.adesignaward.com/design.php?ID=64939
https://competition.adesignaward.com/design.php?ID=64940

This article was added on Monday, 22nd of October, 2018 at 07.47 am by author Frank Scott Tags: Toshihiko Sakai, Toshihiko Sakai Designs, Toshihiko Sakai Interview, Kotori 501 and R2300 Series.. Read our copyright policy here.
 

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designeroftheday.com/?216051

 

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