As Design Director of GARDE, Kenji's creative talents allow him to design practical and great large-scale commercial and hospitality facilities.
Kenji Muro has many achievements in China, Southeast Asia and Japan, mainly in the design of large-scale commercial facilities and hospitality (hotel) facilities. Large-scale commercial facilities and hotels also place emphasis on the project market evaluation, profit contribution, and real estate value improvement by consistently conducts everything from market research to business format development, and from planning proposals for launching a new brand business to design.
Representative works: Hanguang Department Store (Beijing), Shangri-La Dalian, Cerulean Hotel Tokyu, Joy Breeze in Suzhou, etc.
I was interested in spatial design, and majored in a specialized course at university. I was also interested in set design, but I felt that the interior design, especially large-scale commercial facilities and hotels, was very rewarding in terms of contributing to society and achieving customer satisfaction.
GARDE consists of four major divisions:
1) Luxury brands’ Design and Construction Division
2) Overseas Large-scale commercial and Hospitality Division
3) Office Design Division
4) Planning and development and Real estate division
We have offices in major cities in the world (Milan, Paris, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, New York and Los Angeles), and by connecting networks, we not only design the services provided to each customer, but also provide consulting services (real estate brokerage, market research, business format development and branding) from the base of projects to maximize customer satisfaction.
For me, “DESIGN” means providing new values to the market and customers.
Minimal design with lean sophistication attracts me. I feel that the place with the spatial representation of the world view of Wabi and Sabi (beauty within simplicity and imperfection) is the ultimate beautiful space.
The cooperation with clients, and the pursuit of market value and originality.
I have no “design style”. I place more importance in creating a space that can withstand the changes of the times and improve with age.
Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your design process? I always start the design by grasping what is more than the client, market expectations and market needs.
Yes. It influences me deeply.
It motivates me for my next work.
We chose this project because we felt that we were able to provide highly complete design as a new hotel brand creation.
The biggest challenge of this project is to let the developer who is new to hotel development and operating traditional hotels to understand that we will pursue and create a brand new hotel and the direction of the design.
Winning this award will increase my confidence and boost the order for the next project.
1) Connecting with others
2) Understanding the cultures and human values of different countries
3) Seeing people’s reactions and listening to evaluations when the projecy get completed
I think that always be aware of tradition and innovation, and value the Japanese identity is the most important reason.
After-corona will greatly change our lifestyles and work styles, so it is necessary to quickly identify such changes and consider how designers can contribute to society and the market.
I hope they can be bound by nothing, pursuing emotional values and creating freely, then have a spirit that never gives up is important.
Put yourself in a real space and create many opportunities to feel confident. It is easy to collect the information by photos, but you can’t improve your sensibility from this method. Please remember the experiencing is important, and be interested in design other than what you are involved in.
Taro Okamoto, my professor at university. He taught me that what is art? what is attracting people? what is impressing people? thinking something is the origin of creation.
Try your best to maximize customer satisfaction.
GARDE, as a branding design company, designs space in various fields such as retail, offices, residences, hospitalities, F&B and large-scale commercial facilities.