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Event Report – Architect vs Fashion in Tokyo talk interaction


On July 9th, the two most successful designers got together at an event; Architect vs Fashion in Tokyo talk interaction.

The first of the two famous designers is Toyo Ito, is an architect and the winner of the he winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, referred to as the Nobel Prize of architecture. He also designed TOD’S Omotesando, where the even was held. The second of the two is Naoki Takizawa who is now the creative director or UNIQLO after a successful career as the designer of Issey Miyake.

The two great designers from different fields got together at this precious event to discuss the meaning and future of design.

Below is an extract of the talk interaction.

— About the creative

For me, routine work is nothing but boring. So instead acting according to my own thoughts, I place importance on creating something together with others. When mixing various ideas of different people, what comes up is something entirely different from the initial image of it. That is what I call creative.

The view I had from the stage at the collections during my period at Issey Miyake and the view I have walking on the streets after becoming independent are completely different. I think that my perception of what creative is has changed dramatically.


— About design

Today’s architecture is greatly influenced by Europe, but there are many Japanese who cannot grow familiar with it. There are many situations in which a design that has been praised among architects is not well received by the public. I would like to reconsider the meaning of design and what it is that makes a good architecture.

It has become an age in which even designers get inspirations from the city streets. Trends are no longer started by designers, but by the general public. The good and bad of the clothes presented by designers are determined by those who wear them. That is why making clothes that can be worn by a million people is such a new concept, and a challenging idea for me.


— Japanese-ness

The minimal and sophisticated design of Japan has a high reputation over seas. But, I don’t really have that awareness when I design. I try to always stay ahead of the current architecture. For instance, I want to integrate the sun lit verandas (engawa) the airy dirt floor (doma) of the traditional Japanese homes into modern apartments.

Though I do product direction according to each country around the world, but I am often told that UNIQLO’s clothing has this Japanese-ness. I was glad when I was also told that I should continue emphasizing the high quality of Japanese garment production rather than trying to achieve a global design accepted by everyone.



Toyo Ito
One of the representing architects of Japan.
Born in 1941. His most famous works include the Sendai Meiatheque, Tama Art University Library, and the Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture, Imabari.
Winner of the Architectural Institute of Japan Award, Biennale di Venezia golden lion award, Royal Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architecture (RIBA), and many others.
After the great East Japan earthquake, Ito has been actively engaged in the reconstruction of the affected areas, building Minna No Ie (home for all) to provide a place of relief for the locals living in temporary housings.


Naoki Takizawa
Japanese fashion designer. Born on 1960.
After entering the Miyake Design Studio, he took position as the creative director of the Issey Miyake men’s line from 1993, and the women’s line from 1999. He left Issey Miyake after his final 2007 S/S collection. In 2011, he became the design director of Uniqlo.
Winning awards include the 16th annual Mainichi Fashion Grand Prix in 1998, The New York Dance and Performance Award in 1999, and the title of Chevalier dans L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.