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Meet Designer: Yukiko Izumi

I am a bridge to connect the dots to make a better life. For example, I become a bridge between Japan and other countries, a company and users, traditional values and modern life style.

What is your job title?

Graphic Designer at MATSUYAMA STUDIO

What is your typical "day in the life of a designer" ?

(A day going to the office)

  • Make breakfast and pack lunch box. Think about the fastest way to finish this task.

  • In the subway, read my favorite writers' short articles on apps, quick search on SNS, or read comics I borrowed from the public library.

  • Check emails and organize today's task

  • Try to avoid to looking at screens during lunch (Because most of my work has to be face to screen)

  • Brush my teeth after lunch to refresh myself.

  • Before leaving the office, always clean up my desk area.

  • After I arrive home, I try to relax. Check Instagram to find some interesting events, topics, or news.

  • Read a book on a topic I am interested in before I go to bed. Recently, I am reading a lot of children's picture books about Art.

  • Sleep well, fully recharge my energy, and feel refreshed tomorrow!

Design principles you live by?

1. Eat delicious food (it doesn't need to be fancy)

2. Keep learning (including non-design related subjects)

3. Laughing together with people around me

4. Sometimes face serious questions and ponder important issues of our time

5. Sleep well

What problem can't you stop thinking about?

Great designers are already making a lot of good design works every day. However, there are only small percentage of people who knows or have an interest in value of good design. I constantly think about ways to spread importance and value of good design.

Mural - Yukiko Izumi

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Have as much of various experience as you can regardless of specific field.

Design tools you can’t live without? (Physical and/or digital)

Paper, pencil, smart phone, laptop, internet, post-its

What’s in your bag?

iPhone, library card, pen and small notebook, eye drops

What is the greatest design object, service, product or graphic ever made, in your opinion?

「How to walk in the dementia world(認知症世界の歩き方)」

Project by issue + design

I don't know which design this project will be categorized into, but it is a wonderful design work.

NPO issue + design made a unique project about Dementia.

First, they published a book called “Travel guide book in the world of Dementia”.

It tells a story that summarizes the events experienced by people with dementia in the form of "travel sketches" and "travel notes.”

Next, in the form of videos and games (How to walk in the world of dementia- Play!), They are devising ways to make it easy for everyone to understand and feel close to people with dementia, while being actively engaged while learning about dementia.

From what I hear in the news and from other people, I get the impression that it is very difficult to take care of people with dementia. And it is still unpredictable who and when this symptom will begin.

I was moved and touched by the mechanism of learning dementia in an approachable and engaging way, as shown in traveling by multiplying "esoteric illness". This is a prime example of great design I've encountered recently.

Books you highly recommend for anyone pursuing a career in design?

21_21 DESIGN SIGHT, Tokyo

Unfortunately I am not much of a reader. But I highly recommend to visit the design museum in Tokyo named 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT. They always have amazing design exhibitions.

Two Designer friends you admire and we should talk to!

Chiaki Fukuzaki and Kazuhiro Ikemoto (Documentation Design Lab.,LLC.) This design company specializes in video documentation . Kazuhiro is a photographer and videographer. Chiaki is a graphic designer. I met them in Kolding Designskolen. They visited the school to participate in Universal Design conference. In 2021, I joined their ongoing project of reducing plastic usage in their local area in Japan. Working together as a team, I discovered their unique skills as designer team. Chiaki is talented at thinking very carefully about words and design. Kazuhiro as a videographer has developed a special skill to survey and predict upcoming actions or events few seconds beforehand, so that he can capture interesting shot.

Hirooki Miyazaki (Enable Non Profit Organization) I worked with him in the same project which I described above. He is not a designer. He is an occupational therapist and running NPO at Kobe City. His main job is to support people with disabilities He plans, manages and carries out various events and projects, collaborates with government, educational institutions, private companies and other citizens' groups. I admire that he always comes up with various creative ideas, and he enjoys his work very much.

What and where did you study?

Master's degree, Industrial Design

Designskolen Kolding, Denmark Master’s Program in Living Environment Studies Bunka Gakuen University Graduate School, Japan Bachelor Degree in Faculty of Art and Design Bunka Gakuen University, Japan

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