Dezeen Magazine

Tokyo Designers Week interviews: Arik Levy

Tokyo 09: designer Arik Levy remembers living in Japan and dreams about making smaller chocolate wrappers in this short interview commissioned by Dezeen for the Tokyo Designers Week guide.

Arik Levy - We need to be transparent about what we achieve

“Nobody talks frankly about the environment. Working with green materials, collecting them by hand from Kathmandu, blah, blah, blah – I don’t believe in these things. There’s so much hypocrisy. What I believe in is self-responsibility. If I make packaging for a chocolate bar one millimetre smaller because I’ve been more intelligent about its architecture, I’ve made a huge difference. Why? Because there’ll be ten million of them. We need to be more transparent about what we achieve and what we don’t.

But it’s our kids who can really make a difference. They should be educated about the environment in primary schools. We can raise awareness but they need to be the innovators – we’re almost dead in that respect.

Right now, I’ve just launched a new perfume bottle for Issey Miyake. They only introduce a new bottle every ten years so for me it was a statement – a sculpture. It was about going beyond its physicality and building a bridge between Issey Miyake’s philosophy and mine. Crossing those kinds of bridges in design is always interesting. That moment of osmosis is thrilling.

It’s like arriving in Japan for the first time. I had to break a barrier to really discover the country. Luckily, I broke it on the first day because I was bold. I lived there for four months and it was the only time in my life I’ve ever written a diary. I wanted to remember and embrace the experiences I had every day. Japan is emotional, physical and it’s intellectual.”

Arik Levy is a multi-disciplinary designer, with a studio in Paris.

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:

Ilse Crawford
Matthew Hilton
Shigeru Ban

More about Arik Levy on Dezeen:

Molteni&C sofa chat
A Scent bottle
Design Miami chat show
Cubic Metre
Absent nature
Tubes and Tribe Vases
Corian Kitchen
Transition sportswear
Intangible for Baccarat