This weeks Designer Spotlight focuses on Hiroaki Nishimura, a Japanese artist making beautiful, functional objects using design elements as structural supports.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?
I run a design office near Tokyo station that invents value through creative schemes. I work in diverse fields, mainly focusing on product design and graphic design, but also in spatial design and art creation.
What's the story behind your designs? What inspires you?
The fact that I want to help myself, and I want to help other people. There are many things in our daily lives that are problematic, but some of those problems can be easily resolved through service or objects. But sometimes, we face a problem that we’re unable to solve. Whenever I face a situation where I think, “I wish I had this” or “it would help if something like this existed”, then immediately, that makes me want to design it, and whatever is borne from that invention will help me, and if it’s shared it will help somebody else. So, keeping my eyes open to what is happening in front of me and keeping my ears open, that’s what I really value.
What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?
That’s very simple; because there are people there. Designers and consumers are there. There are people who come just to see new designs, even if they don’t buy anything. There’s nothing greater than that, for a creator to publish or sell his work.
How did you learn how to design in 3D?
I studied the basics of design at the Musashino Art University in Tokyo. Later, while working as a product designer for Panasonic, I mastered higher modeling skills to create beautiful curves that connect fluidly based on design criteria as a structural object.
How do you promote your work?
I used to follow the process of releasing my concept design first, then trying to find a manufacturer. And there was a lot of lead time from there until the product finally came out into the market. Now, with Shapeways leading the way, we have an opportunity for individuals to get directly involved in the market. As an extreme example, an idea that was formed may become a product and be sold at Shapeways Shop on the same day. This is reality. Naturally, as creators, we must work under the major assumption that we create good products, but I hope to take advantage of this speediness and continue to output creations one after the other.
Who are your favorite designers or artists?
I’ve always liked Jasper Morrison. I like the fact that his works contain the elements of fun, convenience and something never seen before, and his attractive designs that bring out the natural beauty of the material, they are really beautiful.
If you weren't limited by current technologies, what would you want to make using 3D printing?
I would like to create everything that I carry on me, from clothes to small articles. The biggest fun you can have is not to buy what you want but to create it, so a life surrounded by things that I’ve created would be fantastic.
Anything else you want to share?
I have an office near Tokyo station in Japan. I am involved in various creative and useful activities, so if you have a project in mind, feel free to contact me! I look forward to meeting many creators. I will also be at Fab9 JAPAN, an international Fab Lab conference later this month in Japan, so please feel free to visit!
See Hiroaki's beautiful creations in his Shapeways Shop, visit his website or follow him on Twitter. As always, if you would like to be the next featured designer just email firstname.lastname@example.org