LEGENDARY INTERVIEW

Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Shinjiro Heshiki ("SH") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?

SH : I was born in Okinawa Prefecture. After graduating from high school, he moved to Tokyo and entered a design school. After graduation, he worked at a shop design office, where he learned to design restaurants, retail stores, apparel stores, and houses. I moved to Los Angeles LA USA in 1991. While living in the U.S., I worked as a bartender and club manager, while working in design for a living. This background in restaurants seems to have enhanced his design communication. And returned to Japan in 2001, Then he started his own company, emergene, inc. which is the predecessor of Conception, and has been designing restaurants, bars, cafes, clinics, retail stores, offices, houses, gardens, and other spaces in Okinawa Prefecture.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?

SH : Ever since I was in junior high school, I disliked the white light of fluorescent lamps and changed the color temperature of the lights in my room to warmer colors or arranged them in an indirect lighting style. I was particular about color temperature and thought that the city would be more beautiful if inorganic fluorescent lights were eliminated from the city. Perhaps it was around this time that I began to think about design.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?

SH : At first, I wanted to become an architect building skyscrapers, but I found it difficult to design everything on my own, so I chose store design.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?

SH : I am currently designing spaces for commercial facilities (restaurants, bars, cafes, clinics, retail stores, etc.), offices, residences, gardens, etc. In the future, I would like to work on urban space design, resort facilities for the elderly, and park-like tombs, which I am interested in.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?

SH : Just be yourself.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?

SH : A good designer is one who creates a design with the customer in mind, and a great designer is one who can create a happy future for the customer.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?

SH : Generally speaking, it is difficult to identify them because the best design is one that is so natural that you do not feel that it has been designed.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?

SH : Because design can lead to people's happiness.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?

SH : Home for my Family

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?

SH : I can't disclose that.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?

SH : Psychology and Communication Skills

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?

SH : Masami Matsui

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?

SH : Kengo Kuma Local materials are well incorporated into the design

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?

SH : Each design we create at Conception is like a child being born, so it is difficult to decide on the most fabulous one because each one has its own great qualities.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?

SH : Traveling. Seeing, hearing, touching, and eating good things

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?

SH : Restaurant owner

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?

SH : A guide leading to the goal

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?

SH : Clients that I have been connected with since I returned to Okinawa from the U.S.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

SH : When I was living in the U.S., it became difficult to make a living by design alone, so I started working as a waiter and bartender in restaurants, and was eventually accepted as a general manager, which helped me develop my communication skills through the hospitality industry.

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?

SH : I don't know if it was an obstacle or not, but since I entered the store design industry in Tokyo, the restaurant industry in the U.S., the IT industry, and then the IT industry back in Okinawa, I feel that the restaurant industry and the IT industry in between were barriers I needed to overcome to broaden my sense of values in a positive way.

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?

SH : It depends on the situation.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?

SH : A few projects are in progress. One of them is a continuation of the Nago Pineapple Park project that we are submitting this time, and we are currently working on two more projects, one of which will be completed in August, and the other is the design of a factory restaurant space where a brandy brewing machine made from pineapples will be located and can be viewed from the bar lounge. This space is being designed to be unique in the world. The space scheduled to open next year will be an entertainment restaurant designed to be the center of the Nago Pineapple Park. It will be designed to be a space that can be enjoyed by both adults and children.

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?

SH : I believe that life is a relay that connects us to the next generation. We just do what we can do now.

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?

SH : Design that expands your horizons. Design that exceeds expectations

DL: How does design help create a better society?

SH : I believe that the power of design can lead people to their goals without stressing them out and without making them aware of it.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?

SH : Regional vitality

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?

SH : I have yet to find a project that I am satisfied with.

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?

SH : Collaboration with IT and game industries.

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?

SH : virtual

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?

SH : In the case of my company, Conception, it takes 3 months to a year.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?

SH : See Location and site check

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

SH : Eliminating the concept of normal

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?

SH : The designs

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?

SH : Enhancing the design system Speed up the process

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?

SH : vector works CAD Illustrator

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?

SH : Psychological manipulation

DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?

SH : Problem-solving design

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?

SH : Stimulation, further evolution of myself

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?

SH : I beleave employees who work for our company

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?

SH : I have no idea

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?

SH : Contemporary natural

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?

SH : Experience in other industries

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?

SH : No change in particular.

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?

SH : Blue gray, Home, Lamb, Spring, I'm not particular about things or brands.

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?

SH : Broke the sprinklers and flooded the entire building.

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?

SH : An environment where you can make time for yourself.

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?

SH : No

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?

SH : A thousand years in the future, we will live in a world where human bodies will not be necessary. It will be the virtual space world of the movie Matrix. However, I wish that even in the virtual world, designers will be needed.

DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?

SH : We believe that the reason why Conception has always been able to satisfy our clients is because we value the following points. In order to remain a one-of-a-kind design firm, we pursue original design techniques that no other design firm can imitate. ・The first, color coordination. The first is color coordination. Based on European colors, we use a combination of neutral and gentle colors for aging paint and accent colors. ・Second, lighting planning. Rather than using the usual Japanese manufacturers' products, we are conscious of creating an original lighting space by purchasing and using lighting fixtures from inside and outside Japan. ・Thirdly, we are particular about the design of doors and windows. Considering the importance of connection design, windows and doors are very important factors that connect "space" and "space". A well-designed window or door will give you a wonderful finish that is different from others. ・Fourthly, greenery design plan, iron and other fixtures plan. This is very important. Although it is often put off due to budgetary considerations, it is recommended to plan for it from the beginning. Conception is a design and branding office that designs "Century Style" spaces that are still sophisticated after 100 years. Our concept is to "design hospitality spaces" based on human psychology, and we create ideal spaces by solving problems through design and giving shape to our clients' ideas.

LEGENDARY DESIGNER

HE WAS BORN IN OKINAWA PREFECTURE. AFTER GRADUATING FROM HIGH SCHOOL, HE MOVED TO TOKYO AND ENTERED A DESIGN SCHOOL. AFTER GRADUATION, HE WORKED AT A SHOP DESIGN OFFICE, WHERE HE LEARNED TO DESIGN RESTAURANTS, RETAIL STORES, APPAREL STORES, AND HOUSES. HE MOVED TO LOS ANGELES LA USA IN 1991. WHILE LIVING IN THE U.S., HE WORKED AS A BARTENDER AND CLUB MANAGER, WHILE WORKING IN DESIGN FOR A LIVING. THIS BACKGROUND IN RESTAURANTS SEEMS TO HAVE ENHANCED HIS DESIGN COMMUNICATION. AND RETURNED TO JAPAN IN 2001, THEN HE STARTED HIS OWN COMPANY, EMERGENE, INC. WHICH IS THE PREDECESSOR OF CONCEPTION, AND HAS BEEN DESIGNING RESTAURANTS, BARS, CAFES, CLINICS, RETAIL STORES, OFFICES, HOUSES, GARDENS, AND OTHER SPACES IN OKINAWA PREFECTURE. CONCEPTION IS A NO OTHER DESIGN BRANDING OFFICE WHICH OFFERS IDEAL SPACE FOR YOUR LIFE & BUSINESS WITH HOSPITALITY MIND. CONCEPTION IS A DESIGN AND BRANDING OFFICE THAT DESIGNS "CENTURY STYLE" SPACES THAT ARE STILL SOPHISTICATED AFTER 100 YEARS. BASED ON THE CONCEPT OF "DESIGNING HOSPITALITY SPACE" BASED ON HUMAN PSYCHOLOGY, WE CREATE THE "IDEAL SPACE" BY GIVING SHAPE TO OUR CLIENTS' IDEAS.


Hohobare Amahare Restaurant and Champagne Bar

Hohobare Amahare Restaurant and Champagne Bar by Shinjiro Heshiki


Sweets De Pineapple Theme Park Shop and Bakery

Sweets De Pineapple Theme Park Shop and Bakery by Shinjiro Heshiki


Nago Pineapple Park Winery Retail Shop

Nago Pineapple Park Winery Retail Shop by Shinjiro Heshiki

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