Q. Could you explain about you and your design company?
I am Tetsuya Matsumoto, the Head Architect Designer at Matsuya Art Works / KTX archiLAB. I have integrated Matsuya Art works right after a bachelor in Osaka University of Arts, Department of Architecture (1999) and graduating from the Graduate school of design in the same university in 2001. Our company is specialized in commercialdesign. The project we deal with varies both in scale and type. From interior design to architectural buildings the projects includes Restaurants, shops, Showrooms, Clinics,Schools, beauty salons, sports facilities and much more. Furthermore, We believe that space design cannot be independent from the business strategy design. we work together with our clients all the way long from business perspectives, to produce architectural and interior design spaces that are compatible to the smallest details. Our mission continues even after reception of the project.
Q. Congratulations to the German Design Award 2016. I would like to present your testimonials and your work description.
Garman Design Award is one of the toughest Design Awards in the world, it was very important for us, our self-confidence and for our clients to win this award; we decided to enter Iconic Awards which is also an important Award in Germany with a worldwide impact, fortunately this led to our selection to participate in the GDA, we have been selected and we have received an invitation to participate in thethecompetition with the winning design: kawaii, for Toshin preparatory school.This preparatory school is situated on a busy shopping street, so the design was like a display along the transparent façade. We used a series of spaces shaped like gabled roof houses that we altered to look even more innocent and childish, we also colored and lightened up the back wall of every space in a different vivid color.A conference room, a corridor, the reception and three booth spaces are placed along the façade, whilst the bigger class rooms are placed behind.
Q. How did you get inspired in this award?
As the project of this preparatory school is located on a busy shopping street in Kobe city and surrounded by Girls high-schools we wanted to create a space more suitable for Japanese teenage girls. Immediately the concept of kawaiiemerged. Kawaii can be translated into cute in English but the concept has a wider meaning in Japanese. We thought about what can be the most kawaii form in architecture and we found that the gabled roof houses that are often used in illustrated children books fits our image. So we used a series of those forms as a display along the transparent façade and exhibited the kawaiiness of the space.
Q. When you design with team or personally, what do you think are the most important elements and capabilities in design?
There are so many points we take in consideration that it would be very difficult to restrain them, everything is important in the design, so I think that the designer must be capable of producing a functional space with a very high esthetic value. The balance of the shape, of colors, of materials, of lighting and the general atmosphere are all to be taken in consideration together with the perfectly functional space that accommodates the client’s needs. However further than good balance, I think the designer must also be capable of producing unique and special design, creativity is a very important key.
Q. What if you have memorable works besides your winning works?
We have many works that won local/international awards that we are proud of, just to cite few example, the Origami ark received 9 awards including iconic design and WAF Inside, TEN Japanesedining restaurant in Australia have been nominated Best Fine Dining and won the Supree Restaurant Award 2009 in Gold Coast, Azumi meat shop and Yakiniku Restaurant also received a local award and have been published several times. As for Toshin preparatory school, we have been doing series of schools and yet we have some new projects together with them. The client is very receptive to new ideas and trusts our designs which allowed us to realize several concepts and try new experiences that were successful. We are looking forward to the result of the next ones. In connection with that, we might also say that our best project is the next one; we keep trying to make each project better than the previous one. We keep learning and earning more experience that we urge ourselves to apply to every project we work on.
Q. I am curious about the special design process of yourself.
I am very sensitive to perfectly functional designs, interior design and architecture is not an ordinary work of art, it affects people’s life. That’s why I always start by drawing the floor plan fixing it to the most convenient and discusses it with the client. Once this step is done, I start by drawing a 3D bird view perspective from that plan, and start to think about the space and how to make it special. The next step is to verify the sketch by producing a 3D computer graphics, keep changing it and discussing it with the client until getting to a satisfying point.
Q. What if you have the most inspired design books or mentors?
Most of the times I browse design magazines to get inspiration, I don’t have an Idol, it is very misleading to just focus on one person and fellow him. I usually browse Frame Magazine, the JapaneseShoten-kenchiku, and then of course the internet to have a wider perspective of what is done and to be inspired by other designers works. At the same time, as a musician I can also have inspiration by listening or producing music, the rhythms, the feelings that music produces and the brain stimulation is a powerful and inspiring source I can’t help but using.
Q. What do you want to achieve one’s goal in your life as a designer?
Same as having an Idol, I believe that having a major goal can also be misleading. I don’t believe in the very far future, rather I try to make the near future a better place. I work hard on every project hoping to make it the best. This implies by all means that I want to work on more and more various projects, bigger and smaller in size, different type from commercial, medical, cultural and even religious or all other types. I also want to experience more and more international projects. In other words, my life goal is to keep getting a better designer by working in a more and more interesting projects.