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Five key projects by interior designer and Dezeen Awards judge Masamichi Katayama

Interior designer Masamichi Katayama of Wonderwall has joined Dezeen Awards 2023 as a judge. Here, he selects five projects that best reflect his work.

Katayama is the founder of interior design practice Wonderwall in Tokyo. The studio's projects range from retail to private residences and large-scale commercial interiors.

"Wonderwall projects each provide specific challenges and are all approached in a unique way," Katayama told Dezeen. "For this reason, no single project represents our whole portfolio and philosophy. Diversity is Wonderwall's strength."

"We design using an unconstrained approach, respecting conventional and traditional design philosophies while incorporating modern elements," he continued.

Tokyo-based Wonderwall recently designed a three thousand square metre space with 27 food-centred shops scheduled to open this autumn. The design concept is to "open a courtyard at the entrance of the city" by integrating shops and potted plants throughout the space.

Katayama among Dezeen Awards 2023 judges

Dezeen Awards 2023 in partnership with Bentley Motors is open for entries. On Tuesday we announced five more Dezeen Awards judges, including designer Ineke Hans, architect Kevin Carmody, curator Maria Cristina Didero, woodworker Sophie Sellu and fashion designer Patrick McDowell.

Submit your project before the entry deadline on Thursday 1 June. Click here for more information.

Read on to find Katayama's views on the five projects that best represent his work:

Nowhere, Busy Work Shop Harajuku by Masamachi Katayama
Photo by Kozo Takayama

Nowhere, Busy Work Shop Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan, 1998

"While A Bathing Ape founder Nigo was running the company, we designed numerous stores for the brand, but this was the first project of many.

"Although it is a retail space, we designed the space as an experience, creating a sequence that is like getting on an attraction at the amusement park."

Uniqlo 5th Avenue, New York City, USA, by Masamachi Katayama
Photo by Atsushi Nakamichi, courtesy of Nacása & Partners Inc.

Uniqlo 5th Avenue, New York City, USA, 2011

"The aim of this project was to design a store which does not look designed. The brand's products would act as the focal point of the design rather than the interior.

"At the same time, we designed the space so that the circulation could be understood without any signage."

Suimontei, Takabatake, Nara, by Masamachi Katayama
Photo by Kozo Takayama

Suimontei, Takabatake, Nara, Japan, 2022

"Suimontei was designed using 100-year-old 'sukiya' architecture, a traditional Japanese residential style.

"The building incorporates modern elements while paying respect to tradition and style."

Pierre Hermé Paris, Aoyama, Tokyo, Japan, 2016
Photo by Kozo Takayama

Pierre Hermé Paris, Aoyama, Tokyo, Japan, 2016

"To express [French pastry chef and chocolatier] Mr Pierre Hermé's philosophy in the space, the theme was the coexistence of luxury and playfulness.

"Twelve types of marble were used and colour was brought in through material. It was a challenge to enhance the entertainment value of the space."

Japan House London, UK, 2018
Photo by Atsushi Nakamichi, courtesy of Nacása & Partners Inc

Japan House London, UK, 2018

"Japan House, a project led by Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, aims to nurture a deeper appreciation and understanding of Japan within the international community.

"The primary concept was the tokonoma, an alcove in traditional Japanese guestrooms. In traditional Japanese rooms, the atmosphere of an entire room can shift by simply replacing the flowers or the hanging scrolls displayed at the tokonoma.

"Our goal was to create a space that echoes the unique Japanese quality in which the atmosphere of the room changes according to the various elements and events taking place inside."

Dezeen Awards 2023

Dezeen Awards celebrates the world's best architecture, interiors and design. Now in its sixth year, it has become the ultimate accolade for architects and designers across the globe. The annual awards are in partnership with Bentley Motors, as part of a wider collaboration that will see the brand work with Dezeen to support and inspire the next generation of design talent.