Tokyo Designers Week interviews:
Tokujin Yoshioka

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Tokyo 09: designer Tokujin Yoshioka talks about being a pioneer in this short interview commissioned for the Tokyo Designers Week official guide, produced by Dezeen.

Tokujin Yoshioka - It’s my job as a designer to be a pioneer

“Recycling is not the solution – we need to find ways to stop consuming energy altogether. I’m experimenting with materials and production techniques that have never been seen before, which I hope to show in Milan next year. It’s my job as a designer to be a pioneer.

At the beginning of my career, form was most important to me, but now I care most about human emotions. I like to give people a sense of elation. I have just designed a Camper store in London, featuring a wall covered in folded artificial suede, like blossom. It’s a very positive space and each petal is different, which gives it an ever-changing expression. Senses and emotions are things that can be designed.

I don’t set out to mimic nature; it happens unconsciously. I have an exhibition coming up in Tokyo in 2010 where I’ll be addressing it more directly. I’m also experimenting with crystal again. It’s fascinating the way its facetted surface reflects the light, which creates very energetic and dynamic pieces.

I live and work in Daikanyama-cho, in Shibuya-ku. I created my studio – once my home – out of an old rice warehouse transported from outside Tokyo. I combined the wooden structure, which is 150 years old, with new materials because I like the contrast between old and new. Things with heritage are so interesting because I can’t design them. It’s fascinating to contrast these with new technologies, which make the impossible possible.”

Tokujin Yoshioka runs his own studio Tokujin Yoshioka Design.

Photography by Phil Fisk
Art direction by Micha Weidmann
Interview by Malaika Byng

This interview is taken from the official Tokyo Designers Week guide, produced by Dezeen and art directed by Micha Weidmann.

More interviews in this series:

Max lamb
Tom Dixon
Arik Levy
Ilse Crawford
Matthew Hilton
Shigeru Ban

See all our stories about Tokyo Designers Week in our special category.

More about Tokujin Yoshioka on Dezeen in our special category.

  • http://www.muuuz.com Prof. Z.

    Tokujin Yoshioka is a real “genius designer” but his name is too complex for memorisation and for branding ( Starck, Wanders, Karim, Nouvel)….

  • http://mcnalgas.com Souto

    I had the opportunity to see an exhibition of his in tokyo last year: Second Nature… It was simply amazing!

  • Prof Z

    simply amazing ? here in Dezeen ….he is “Deus ex machina ”
    http://www.dezeen.com/2008/10/30/second-nature-by-tokujin-yoshioka/

  • http://www.muuuz.com Prof. Z.

    You will see in a container a follower : achair in sugar or salt i dunnot know..
    Differenciation design ?
    http://www.dezeen.com/2009/11/04/container-ground-at-tokyo-designers-week/

  • Sakura

    @ prof z:
    train your memory!
    maybe people don’t remember the name of the designer, but when they remember his design, he/the design is succesful…
    why posting links, referring to the same website? focus your thoughts:
    say it in one comment much rather than in 10, then student z might become prof z one day…

    great interview/ great thought by tokujin – thanks dezeen!