For more than 150 years creatives in Denmark and Japan have inspired each other within the field of design and craftsmanship. How does the future landscape look like for co-creation and what are the building blocks for further collaboration? Design denmark has interviewed Atsushi Hasegawa, the president of Concent Inc. The company is in dialogue with Design denmark in order to start a new exchange program for Danish and Japanese design companies. A prototyping of a creative exchange workshop was held in Tokyo on October 31st, where members of Design denmark worked closely together with designers from Concent. Here are the thoughts behind the coming exchange project.
Tell us about your background and your company. What do you do?
When I was 10 years old, I read about a documentary film called Powers of Ten directed by Ray and Charles Eames in a magazine. The film illustrated the relative scale of the Universe. Even though I couldn’t go to the Smithsonian Museum in the U.S. to see the film, I have since then been wondering what is the smallest thing. So I studied elementary particle physics at university. After my master’s course, I was interested in the existence of things themselves, or how we recognize the existence of things. So I started studying cognitive science which was originally the science of artificial intelligence. Through the study of human cognition in my PhD course, I finally came across design, as the only way to create human experience. So I started my design career and a design firm named Concent.
How would you describe Concent – local or global?
Concent is based in Tokyo, and provides service design, UX design, and communication design in Japan. We integrate Japanese and global ways of thinking. And we have introduced and localized global design concepts such as service design and UX design into the Japanese design industry since we were founded.
Why do you find it valuable for designers to make professional exchange trips?
I believe that through this exchange program, both Danish and Japanese designers would obtain a new point of view. And I expect that both designers would find something new in their own culture, and I hope then they could reframe their design perspectives.
Why do you find Denmark interesting?
First of all, Danish culture, the aesthetic sense, and atmosphere is very comfortable to me. I use Danish furniture in my house. And, this is the very interesting point for me, this furniture harmonizes with my Japanese furniture. I want to understand what makes harmony.
What do you think that Japanese designers and Danish designers have in common?
I think we have lots in common, however I’m not sure what it is right now. I expect that we can find them through this exchange program. I believe that understanding the common ground between Danish designers and Japanese designers will provide us new insights for our future collaboration.