Thinking of Japanese design


Japanese Bug-Eyed-Superheroes Miming Speech © by timtak

Thinking about Japanese design, I think we are in the phase where it does not receive any push to keep them always interesting and be able to create emotions.

Until few years ago, Japanese design was powered by the legacy that absorbed by the advice of italian coach builders and designers, who with their proposals could combine elegance and emotions with advanced Japanese technology. Those elements are subtle but even make the difference in terms of presenting a car looking nice.

Actually it seems to me this spirit is gradually failing and Japanese design is becoming monotonous and less innovative than in the past years. It is like a student who studied well the lesson but does not add any personal value.

The design responsibility has to be owned by only one person, who has worked in a team with his designers. At the end he is the man who presents and supports the project in front of the Car makers managers. It is important to support a product that is the result of months of discussions, studies and comparisons. This product should be explained to the managers such as how was conceived and what represents for the Carmakers. The ultimate design goal should not be “to please” the managers because they like to be also designers just for their power.

Basically the concept is a reflection of ideas, dreams that shapes around the physical model. There are cars targeted to young people, families, while others play a role on the image. They are not wheeled boxes just for transportation purpose. In my opinion it seems many Japanese cars are designed like a “domestic appliance” that it is used “because you need”, lacking of excitement!

Nowadays we hear the car is no more interesting in Japan (adducting the cause of loss interest to the population) and, in my opinion, the reason is due to the managers, who do not offer enough emotions to the young people who can become passionate.

Today Carmakers are guided to create an identity that distinguishes their products, represents the “family”. It is no longer the badge on the bonnet to distinguish a Brand, but the codes, genetics, typical style features.

So it become crucial the importance of rational design and design of research of codes and of logos. Those characteristics have always to be present on various models. They have to be developed and adapted with intelligence, emotions and passions. You should not see models of same Carmaker that are diametrically opposite and contradictory between themselves.

This is what happens in Japan. Each model is deliberately different. It looks like to be a sign of insecurity of what is proposed. And suddenly they walk away hoping to find the right one.

(Translated by Matteo Ceronetti)

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