Specialized in Pet Supply Design.



Born in 1979. From an early age, studied art under her father, a spatial designer and relief artist, and graduated from Kyoto Saga Art Junior College in 2000 with a degree in environmental design.She worked as a graphic designer at a signage company, a chief interior designer at a store design company, and a graphic designer before starting her freelance career in 2011. In 2017, She established DESIGN Iris Co., Ltd. and has been working on a wide range of design projects, including space design and design for commercial facilities, display design, graphic design for logos, menus, and signs, package design, product design, and branding design.

  • Winner of the A' Design Award.
  • Specialized in Pet Supply Design.
  • Original Design.
  • Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Pet Supply
Neko Goten Cat Tower

Neko Goten Cat Tower

Pet Supply Design

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Interview with HITOMI OTAKE

Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
From an early age, I learned art and design from my father, a spatial designer and relief artist, and played in his workshop, so I knew I wanted to do the same work as him when I grew up.
Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
My company is involved in a wide range of services including space design, product design, graphic design, display design, and creative direction. We have many clients in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, and other places outside of Japan, and we work with clients in a variety of industries through design.
What is "design" for you?
For me, design is a means to solve clients' business problems, and a way to communicate various spaces and products to the world through design.
What kinds of works do you like designing most?
Le Corbusier's "Chapelle Notre-Dame du Haut" for architecture For products, "Miss Blanche" by Shiro Kuramata
What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
I like all of Alvar Aalto's architecture and products. From architecture to furniture, glassware, and other daily necessities, all of his designs are functional and considerate of the people who live and use them.
What was the first thing you designed for a company?
This is the interior design of a restroom space for a restaurant. We tried to understand the concept of the restaurant and design every detail in the restroom to make it easy for people to use.
What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
I often use old materials used in Japan for interior design and traditional Japanese paper for Japanese style interiors. I am fascinated by materials that have been used in Japan for a long time.
When do you feel the most creative?
I think I'm most creative when I receive a job offer from a client, discuss and sketch the ideas that come up in the course of repeated meetings, and think of a three-dimensional design from 2D to 3D.
Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
When I design, I draw sketches, make drawings based on the sketches, draw 3DCG perspective, and then create spaces and products. I am always conscious of the fact that there are people who will use the products and spaces, and I focus on designs that are not only beautiful but also comfortable for the people who will use them. I am always conscious of the people who will use my products and spaces.
What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
I think about the people who will use the product beyond the design, and when I imagine people using the space or product, I am excited to make it a reality as soon as possible.
What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
While incorporating the various opinions of the client and the production company, I am truly glad to be doing this job when the design I feel is beautiful and the people who use it are happy with it.
What makes a design successful?
Don't do designs that are self-serving. Do not compromise on the design while incorporating various opinions. I believe that it is important to design with the awareness that people will pay for and use the spaces and products that I design.
When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
Consider whether the design is not only beautiful but also functional.
From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
In creating spaces, packages, and products, I think it is the responsibility of the designer to always be aware of new materials and technologies, while taking into account the budget and the client's requirements, and to be mindful of proposing to the client materials that are better for the environment and systems that can contribute to society.
How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
I believe that the design field will evolve further if we continue to propose ideas for a more creative future by teaming up with people from various fields, such as designers and scientists, designers and entrepreneurs, etc., and designers and politicians.
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
All of my design inspiration comes from conversations with my clients. For this reason, I usually watch and experience art, design, and architecture from all over the world with awareness, and sometimes I even take in movies and books as a source of inspiration.
How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
I do not have a fixed design style of my own. However, by incorporating natural materials (wood and Japanese paper) and Japanese traditions into my style as much as possible, I would like to transmit Japanese design to the world.
Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
Since I live in Japan and my roots are in Kyoto, where many of Japan's important cultural heritage buildings are located, I am naturally drawn to Japanese temple architecture and the beauty of gardens. So when I am asked to design something Japanese, I am grateful for this environment. However, there is a tendency in Japan to think that Western and European design is cutting edge and cool, so I look forward to a future where people pay a little more attention to Japanese design again.
How do you work with companies?
We try to have frequent conversations with our clients, and we work together to define a clear conceptual goal before starting the design process, so that we can reach the final goal even if the various opinions within the company intersect.
What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
The job of a designer is not only to create beautiful designs but also to be able to think together about how to solve problems using design and how to generate profits. I think it is important to choose a design partner who can grow with you beyond the end of the design process.
Can you talk a little about your design process?
When designing, the process involves drawing sketches, creating drawings based on those sketches, creating 3DCG perspective, ordering material samples for spaces, creating prototypes for products, and actually creating spaces and products.
What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
Antique display shelves that were used in Europe for centuries Flower vase from Iittala's Alvar Aalto Collection Miniature of artwork by Taro Okamoto Apple's iMac Pro Japanese Oya-yaki clay bell
Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
As a designer, you should always keep yourself up-to-date with the latest information and art, and act on whatever you experience as if it will lead to your own design. If you believe that any experience you have will someday be beneficial to your work, then everything that happens will lead to a wonderful life!
From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
In both good and bad ways, the boundary between personal and professional life disappears. I don't feel stressed because I'm doing work that I love, but no matter what I see or experience, I can't help but think about how I can apply it to my own designs.
What is your "golden rule" in design?
I value my intuition and my senses. If I feel that I am not satisfied or that the ratio is not comfortable, I will make minor adjustments until I am satisfied.
What skills are most important for a designer?
We believe that the most important thing is to have good communication skills with clients.
Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
I consciously set aside time for meals and walks, and I try to take a nap whenever I feel like I'm not getting enough sleep, although I sometimes concentrate on a batch when I'm in the mood.I make the most of my morning hours.
How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
It takes time to come up with ideas, but the work itself takes two to three days of concentrated effort.
What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
I am often asked "When do you come up with designs? When do you suddenly get an idea? " I answer that I don't suddenly get an idea, but that I come up with design ideas based on my daily thoughts and experiences.
What was your most important job experience?
This was the renewal design of a 20-room Japanese inn built in 1965. It was a tough job because we worked on the construction while operating the business, and we even designed the displays ourselves, but the best experience was that the work was well received both domestically and internationally, and the ryokan became very popular with foreign tourists.
Who are some of your clients?
Small and medium-sized restaurant owners, manufacturing companies that want to create their own products, IT business companies, pet supply companies, and sporting goods companies.
What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
I love Apple's product design. I think the reason why Apple's products are loved by fans all over the world is not only because of their beautiful appearance in every detail, but also because of the unified design of the products, packaging, and visuals.
What are your future plans? What is next for you?
Our goal is to become a company that receives offers for space and product design not only from Japan, but from all over the world, and to build a great team. I would also like to raise the status of the designer profession in Japan and communicate to more companies that they should incorporate ideas from a design perspective into their management.
Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
Drawings and 3DCG perspective are done by a team of staff, but the design is undertaken by one person.
Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
Currently, I am receiving offers for product design and package design from companies in Japan and abroad.
How can people contact you?
Please make an appointment via email. We can communicate in English via email. info@design-iris.co.jp

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