You x Us: Kuni Kawauchi
We asked Lead Designer, Kuni Kawauchi, to talk about his path to design, sources of inspiration, what shifts he feels are shaping the creative landscape, and much more!Read more
We asked Lead Designer, Kuni Kawauchi, to talk about his path to design, sources of inspiration, and what shifts he feels are shaping the creative landscape.
Kuni: We've been witnessing a cultural shift towards localism. The rise of social media platforms has, in many ways, reshaped how people connect and interact with each other and their physical surroundings. Users are seeking more authentic experiences online and IRL, gravitating toward content that reflects their cultural and unique geographical backgrounds. Platforms are adapting to this by promoting local events, businesses, and creators, thereby fostering a sense of belonging within specific communities.
Cultural relevancy was a key pillar in our recent project for the Adidas A3 Beijing store. Our design approach was rooted in a deep understanding of the local customer's desires, specifically catering to the demands of the discernable consumer at Beijing Sanlitun North. Through a curated high-end fashion experience, we amplified the brand's story and relevance within the vibrant local district.
Kuni: Instead of solely focusing on traditional design elements like furniture or architecture, I often turn to unconventional sources that provide fresh perspectives and stimulate creativity. If I'm developing a restaurant, I don't start by looking at tables or furniture design references. Instead, I immerse myself in the world of gastronomy. I delve into the shapes, colors, and textures of food itself. I explore how different cuisines and culinary traditions evoke emotions and cultural connections.It allows me to bridge the gap between the functional and the emotional aspects of design, resulting in spaces that not only serve their functional purpose but also resonate with the people who inhabit them.
Kuni: When collaborating with our clients, we start by deeply understanding their vision, objectives, and the stories they want to convey through their spaces. We believe that spaces are powerful storytellers in themselves. Whether it's a retail environment, a hospitality venue, or a workplace, each space has the potential to communicate a unique narrative. We engage in a collaborative and iterative process where we listen attentively to our client's aspirations and ideas. We encourage them to share their personal and brand stories, drawing inspiration from their journeys, values, and identities. This initial dialogue forms the foundation of our design journey.
Kuni: My path as a designer has been deeply rooted in my passion for creating tangible objects that resonate with others. I view spaces as living canvases where stories come to life, where connections are forged, and where emotions find expression. Designing spaces is, in essence, the art of storytelling through architecture and interiors.
I remember as a student, I visited James Turrel's House of Light in Japan and was instantly moved. We stayed in the building one night and watched the ever-changing colour of the sky through the night... time completely melted away. I was captivated by the idea that a well-designed space could not only be aesthetically pleasing but could also evoke specific feelings and responses from those who interacted with it.
Kuni: Simply put, the FUTURE.
Kunihisa is UXUS's senior lead retail designer. With over 20 years of architectural and retail design experience, he has created flagship consumer experiences for Adidas, Nike, Wrangler, L'Occitane, Sephora, Bloomingdale's, GANT, McDonald's and Volkswagen Group amongst others during his time at UXUS.
Senior Strategist, Andrew Bellofatto, shares his point of view on how the Concept Store has changed from a cultural focal point to a mainstay of the modern retail landscape.Read more
We touch base with our Senior Strategist, Andrew Bellofatto, to talk about his role in transforming spaces for some of the world's leading brands, harnessing the power of storytelling, the pivotal shifts in the industry, and much more!Read more