Design Stories

Conversation with Ichiro Iwasaki

03 January 2011
Conversation with Ichiro Iwasaki

In a new collaboration with Arper, Tokyo designer Ichiro Iwasaki interprets and extends Arper philosophy and design concepts to create a family of ottomans called Pix. They create a lively yet balanced landscape based on color, size, placement and the spaces in-between.


Some of Iwasaki’s thoughts on Design:


On creativity: “I believe we should consciously construct a creative condition in which we search without trying to produce solutions. As we witness reactions within ourselves honestly and keep questioning sincerely, I think we will finally grasp something inside that transcends mere knowledge or experience.”


On wisdom: “We seem to think that having lots of information, processing it instantly, and cramming it into our heads is the most important thing. But there’s a problem there. What is necessary is not knowledge but wisdom. It’s not the not the amount of information but the approach to problems that matters.”


On balance: “The times have changed. The era in which things could be made easily and endlessly is over. To generalize: it is because we are in a transitional period of civilization that we need to maintain a balance between intelligence and sensibility.


On ethics: “It is important to value ethics and sensibility over logic. It is important for designers to think and care about these things.”


On thinking: “I’d be happy if designers could sense rather than think. If you are able to sense things, you can be a creator who has the potential to develop yourself.”


On questioning: “I don’t look for answers to questions such as, “What is design?” and “What should I do?” I believe questioning is designing. The most important thing is to face the question sincerely.”


On time: “It’s not right to make a frying pan that may be used for 10, 20 or even 30 years in a week or two; they just can’t be made so easily. I believe that the time spent designing a product and the longevity of a product should be proportional to a certain degree.”


On chaos: “Japanese people tend to use chaos in a negative sense—a state where nothing is organized, an undesirable state of confusion, or a state of incompletion. For a long time I resisted accepting a chaotic state within myself, but one day I realized the meaninglessness of forcing solutions. Perversely, this has made me see things that I couldn’t see before, organized my thoughts and led me closer to solutions.”