Japanese Designer Masamichi Katayama Creates our Meta-modern Future

“It’s important for me to enjoy life. Being a designer is challenging, and I have to be inspired by different things on a daily basis in order to create. Fortunately, the things I love—music, theater, art—have turned out to be input in my creative process. For me, being both a consumer and a designer is essential. Even if it does cut into my sleeping time.” - Masamichi Katayama

Just like Katayama, for me it's important to consume the art of others. I simply can't get enough of consuming fine Japanese craftsmanship, whether that's in the arena of interior design, auto design, clothing design, or any other arena. I am an absolute Japanophile. And I'm not afraid to say it.

In that vein, Japanese interior designer Masamichi Katayama has always impressed me. I'll never forget the first time I walked into a store he designed for Nike in Tokyo. I was immediately struck by its central installation. Crisp white Nike tennis shoes hung from long clear strings over a stark staircase. It was breathtaking, bold, and clean.

 Image courtesy of https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/8a/cc/c4/8accc463c94f0ebaf9a7d9031d436579.jpg

Image courtesy of https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/8a/cc/c4/8accc463c94f0ebaf9a7d9031d436579.jpg

The same goes for this BAPE store he designed: colorful, absolutely aesthetically pleasing, and fresh. to. death.

 Image courtesy of http://www.designboom.com/cms/images/andrea12/bapexclusive02.jpg

Image courtesy of http://www.designboom.com/cms/images/andrea12/bapexclusive02.jpg

Most recently, Katayama has designed spaces on behalf of Lexus -- complete with restaurants, galleries, libraries, and Crafted for Lexus boutiques selling Lexus-commissioned design products. The flagship store was built in the Aoyama district of Tokyo. Then another one was built in Dubai, and a third store opened in New York City last year (2016).

 Image courtesy of https://www.yatzer.com/sites/default/files/article_images/3300/11-Masamichi-Katayama-Intersect-flagship-Lexus-Wonderwall-Inc-tokyo-photo-by-Kozo-Takayama-yatzer.jpg

Image courtesy of https://www.yatzer.com/sites/default/files/article_images/3300/11-Masamichi-Katayama-Intersect-flagship-Lexus-Wonderwall-Inc-tokyo-photo-by-Kozo-Takayama-yatzer.jpg

 Image courtesy of http://7heaven-interiors.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/thumbs_23206-event-space-arc-wonderwall-0714.jpg.1064x0_q90_crop_sharpen.jpg

Image courtesy of http://7heaven-interiors.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/thumbs_23206-event-space-arc-wonderwall-0714.jpg.1064x0_q90_crop_sharpen.jpg

The Katayama designs speak for themselves. And this is brilliant advertising for Lexus, obviously.

But beyond that, I think it's a sign of what's to come as more and more brands will likely do this kind of interdisciplinary design and advertising in the future. In this case, auto design meets interior design meets product design meets cafe meets bar meets chill-out space meets big cities meets urban consumers. Rigid lines between distinct design and commerce arenas will continue to disintegrate, and boundaries will blur as we move deeper and deeper into meta-modernity. That's my prediction. And not just mine, I'm sure. Be on the look-out.