DIALOGUE OF POSSIBILITIES
MY FAVOURITE SWEATER
Sustainability seems to be important for both of you. How does it affect your design?
Harri Koskinen I believe what we have in common is a sense of the timelessness of design. Must we always be searching for novelties? Don’t we want something more lasting, both aesthetically and in quality? This shared mindset is why sustainability is so important in what we do.
Sachiko Yamamoto Issey Miyake founded Miyake Design Studio in 1970 with a fundamental concept: a piece of cloth. He believes that a piece of cloth becomes wearable after applying such techniques as folding, twisting, wrapping, etc. There’s a very important message hidden in that—which is that a piece of cloth is endowed with function by ideas and wisdom. The precise result will depend on the person who wears the clothes.
Sachiko Yamamoto We have always strived to make things that people can cherish over long periods. This is what led us to initiate a research project to produce fascinating clothing from 100% recycled material. Eventually a collection was realised. We take the same approach to environmental issues in our table textile items. We had the idea to exploit the full width of a textile, and so we have no off-cuts. We want our products to last years which is why we make things with simple design, high quality and responsible methods.
Harri Koskinen One of my favourite Issey Miyake sweaters is sixteen years old! I also have one that’s about ten years old and they’re both still in perfect condition!
Sachiko Yamamoto Having said all this about our design philosophies, we still have to keep beauty in mind. Miyake often says ‘beauty is found whenever someone lays out a piece of clothing, wears it, or moves in it.’ It is not just about clothing either. It’s about whenever textile products are placed on a table or wherever, or even when they are stored away, they should be beautiful. Products should excite people and make them wonder what it is. They should affect our minds. Every textile product is required to be easy-to-use in the everyday world. Our individual lifestyles will affect the background of every design. What we value is how objects can excite and fascinate those who hold them. Design should bring joy.
Harri Koskinen Our Finnish team came up with the idea of ‘Pause for Harmony.’ It means that we should set aside time for harmony so that we can connect to the things around us and to each other.
Sachiko Yamamoto I was inspired by the sakura floral motifs when I created my pentagonal folding pattern. But then people kept saying that the triangles reminded them of Mount Fuji, which had never even occurred to me.
Noriko Kawakami I think true connection comes from recognising our differences. You can understand where the foreign partners are coming from but the landscapes that we see every day and the cultural bases of our lives are fundamentally different. What emerges naturally from these differences is a creative dialogue that is deepened by collaboration. A new harmony is born from an acceptance of that difference.