YINJISPACE use media professional’s unique perspective,try to explore the essence of life behind the design works.

© logo 粤ICP备19077098号

YINJISPACE use media professional’s unique perspective,try to explore the essence of life behind the design works.

© logo 粤ICP备19077098号


“Design is all about exploring, and unless we look to the future nothing will be solved. ”——Gwenael Nicolas

Gwenael Nicolas, born in 1966 in France, encountered several Japanese designers and architects during his studies at the Royal College of Art in London. He became fascinated by the Eastern art presented in their design works.  In 1991, he moved to Japan, and in 1998, he founded CURIOSITY INC. Influenced by the philosophy of Japanese design, Gwenael Nicolas began contemplating the feelings at the moment when people first enter a space or use a product, along with the emotions and experiences he wanted to express.

YINJI:How do you interpret the theme "Evolution" of YIN 2023? What is the special meaning of this theme for CURIOSITY?

CURIOSITY:During the selection process, I was looking for projects that would inspire me and surprise me. The first impression is really important, to be attracted by an unexpected composition or colour. A new aesthetic, free from cultural background, with pure ideas.

A new use of space, new typologies of space, a different way of organising functions. Even a functional space should not be obvious, we must use human intelligence to create spaces that stimulate the senses and reveal themselves as the viewer engages with their complexity and thoughtfulness. I was really surprised by some of the proposals. I felt the creative energy and strong intentions behind the ideas.

YINJI:What inspires you about the artisan spirit tradition pursued in the Japanese social system? In the actual project practice, how to continue this tradition?

CURIOSITY:Over the years, we have built up a network of workshops and craftsmen, as well as high-tech companies, which constantly provide us with new materials and techniques. This allows us to develop projects even before we have customers, like a research centre. There is a Japanese characteristic called “kaizen", which means always change for the better.

So, it is a constant mindset to improve everything...we try to always keep that in mind to move forward with experiments and challenging ideas. If you take away the pressure of time and give ideas and techniques time to develop, you can achieve amazing results. So, it is important to develop ideas outside of a tight client and project timeline.

YINJI:Can you share some design projects that best reflect the theme of "evolution" and how they express CURIOSITY's design philosophy?

CURIOSITY:We have just completed a project for a concept store in Osaka. The starting point was based on one colour: yellow. So, we developed 30 different materials in shades of yellow, glass, carpet, tiles, terrazzo, etc... To achieve something that is almost surrealistic, that perhaps Van Gogh would appreciate.

It is also important to think about a different creative process to achieve a different result. The challenge of design first is not to solve a problem, but to create a paradigm shift that allows the viewer to be receptive to something new, which is called evolution. A new perspective will show that a problem can actually solve itself or just by creating a different context and perspective.

YINJI:Different cultural backgrounds or geographic factors play an important role in the "evolution" of design, what do you think are the key factors?

CURIOSITY:It is not necessary that ideas are part of a historical evolution. As we know almost all the cultures in the world and we have access to their treasures, philosophies, history, we can actually free ourselves from them and invent another culture that is transcendent of human evolution in respect of the differences.