Event Reports

Committee for International Exchange JPDA International Design Conference 2007 “Crossover Design Trend Today”


Directors: Toru Ito, Sasada Fumi

Date and Time: Wednesday, November 21, 2007, 13:00-17:50
Venue: My Plaza Hall, Marunouchi, Tokyo
Number of participants: 114

Three designers, Gwenael Nicolas (Japan), Joseph Forakis (Italy), and Gérard Caron (France) were invited to speak on the theme of “Crossover Design Trends Today”.

Gwenael Nicolas (Japan)
Born 1966 in France. Graduated from Royal College of Art, London. Came to Japan in 1991, and founded the design studio Curiosity in 1998.
Nicolas gave a presentation on a wide variety of his creative activities, ranging from architecture and interiors to product and package design for cosmetics, perfume and confectionery companies. His design process, from initial conception leading up to execution, is remarkable for how an inspiring design overcomes restrictions and conditions imposed by clients and becomes realized in spite of them. His designs also work in tandem with the latest technological developments. The ease with which he negotiates all these design-related processes was a true testament to his passion as a creator.

Joseph Forakis (Italy)
Born 1962 in New York. Founded Joseph Forakis Design (Milan) in 1993. Design director at Motorola from 1999 to 2002. Main clients include Swatch, Swarovski, LG Electronics and Magis. Forakis advocated “iconic design” as a strategic business tool, and introduced techniques for expressing the various characteristics of businesses and products strategically through design. He stressed that good design is effectively a powerful asset and tool, which emerges out of an intimate understanding of corporations, their brands and how to design them. The strength of Forakis。ッ argument was also an endless source of stimulation, lending a fresh perspective on creativity and how to apply it.

Gérard Caron (France)
Active internationally as the founder of Carré Noir from 1973 to1998. Established the Caron Design Network in 2003. While leading marketing design campaigns around the world, Caron also pursues various other activities in design-related publishing, conducts seminars and gives lectures at universities. What exactly is behind the associations of “luxe” and “prestige” that gives European luxury brands their drawing power, and continues to drive the fever for their products around the world these days? Caron shed valuable light on the topic, providing perspectives from European history while giving a clear explanation of the situation. He also drew concrete examples illustrating the relationship between luxury brands and their design, providing much food for thought for all design practitioners present.

Summary: Although this was the first international conference in four years, the experience of inviting speakers from abroad and learning about developments elsewhere in the world was stimulating as always. At the same time, it was a prime opportunity for exchange among different cultures. It is hoped that opportunities for such stimulating avenues of exchange will continue to increase in the future.