Interview with Nobuaki Miyashita, CEO of MR STUDIO CO.LTD

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Nobuaki Miyashita

Nobuaki Miyashita is the CEO of MR STUDIO Co., Ltd., in Tokyo, Japan. With nearly 30 years in architectural design, he has significantly shaped spaces and landscapes with innovative approaches. His firm handles a wide range of architectural projects, including residential, commercial, and urban developments.

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your design background.

I am the CEO of MR STUDIO Co., Ltd., based in Tokyo, Japan. With nearly 30 years of experience in architectural design, I have been deeply involved in shaping spaces, buildings, and landscapes through innovative and concept-driven design.

My firm specializes in a broad range of architectural services from residential and commercial projects to large-scale urban developments.

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a designer/artist?
My fascination with the transformative power of architecture inspired me to become a designer. From a young age, influenced by my uncle, an accomplished architect, I learned the importance of a strong concept in design that truly responds to its environment and context. This early exposure instilled in me a passion for creating meaningful and impactful designs.
3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.

As the CEO of MR STUDIO Co., Ltd., I lead a team of talented designers and architects in creating projects that reveal the latent needs and identities of spaces.

We focus on delivering distinguished added value through site-specific architecture and integrated design elements such as signage, lighting, landscape, and product design. Our work ranges from interiors to comprehensive urban planning, each project uniquely tailored to its specific location.

4What does “design” mean to you?
To me, design is a dialogue between form, function, and context. It is an exploration of how spaces can influence human behavior and experience. Good design not only addresses practical needs but also elevates the aesthetic and emotional dimensions of a space, making it resonate with its users and environment.
5What’s your favorite kind of design and why?

My favorite kind of design is one that is deeply rooted in its context, providing solutions that are uniquely appropriate for its setting. This site-specific approach allows for designs that are not only functional and beautiful but also deeply meaningful and connected to the local culture and environment.

It challenges me to think deeply about the purpose and impact of our work, making each project a rewarding endeavor.

6To you, what makes a “good” design?
A good design, to me, is one that transcends aesthetic appeal and functionality.
7Describe your design style and its main characteristics.

Our design style at MR STUDIO is characterized by a deep respect for context and a commitment to innovation. We strive for a holistic approach that integrates architecture, signage, lighting, landscape, and product design.

Our style is adaptive, focusing on uncovering and expressing the intrinsic identity of each project, which results in unique, site-specific solutions that are both functional and visually compelling.

8Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your design process?
Absolutely! Japan's rich cultural heritage and its nuanced approach to aesthetics and craftsmanship deeply influence our design process. The concepts of minimalism, attention to detail, and harmony with nature are ingrained in our approach, shaping how we think about space, materiality, and interaction within our architectural practices.
9Congratulations! As the winner of the 2024 MUSE Design Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?
Thank you! Winning the MUSE Design Awards is a tremendous honor and validation for our team's hard work and creativity. It not only recognizes our commitment to innovative and contextually sensitive design but also strengthens our resolve to continue pushing the boundaries of what architecture can achieve. This accolade is a testament to our collective effort and the trust our clients place in us.
10Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2024 MUSE Design Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

While our entry that won this year included multiple projects, each was a unique architectural endeavor that captured the essence, historical significance, and cultural backgrounds of locations not only in Tokyo but also in regional cities across Japan and resort areas in Vietnam.

These projects were chosen for the MUSE Design Awards because they embody our philosophy of enhancing communities through thoughtful, culturally sensitive design. They represent a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to redefine living environments while respecting and integrating the distinct characteristics of each site.

Additionally, each project is recognized for its iconic beauty and well-proportioned design, making them standout contributions to the field.

11What was the biggest challenge with this project?

The biggest challenge was balancing the historical significance of the site with the need for modern infrastructure. We had to ensure that our design respected and preserved the cultural heritage while providing innovative solutions for contemporary urban challenges.

Engaging with local communities and various stakeholders to align our visions was also a complex, yet crucial, part of the process.

12How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?
Winning the award has significantly raised our profile both domestically and internationally. It has opened up new opportunities for collaboration and has attracted clients seeking designs that are at the forefront of innovation and sustainability.
13What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?

1. The ability to shape environments and influence the daily lives of people through design.

2. The constant evolution and integration of new technologies and methodologies.

3. The collaboration between diverse disciplines that contributes to richer, more holistic solutions.

14What makes your country specifically, unique in the design industry?
Japan's unique position in the design industry stems from its blend of tradition and cutting-edge technology. This juxtaposition influences our approach to materials, forms, and spatial concepts, creating a distinct aesthetic that is both deeply historical and profoundly modern.
15Where do you see the evolution of design industry going over the next 5-10 years?

I foresee a greater emphasis on sustainability and adaptive reuse in the design industry. As global environmental concerns intensify, the focus will be on creating more energy-efficient and ecologically integrated buildings.

Additionally, the integration of digital technologies, like augmented reality and AI in the design and construction processes, will revolutionize how we conceive and construct spaces.

16If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Design Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?
Focus on developing a strong foundational understanding of both the technical aspects of architecture and the socio-cultural impacts of design. Be bold in your creativity, always mindful of sustainability, and open to collaboration. These qualities are essential for making significant contributions to our field.
17What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the design industry?
I strongly believe that if you are trying to improve your skills, you most definitely should engage with a broad range of materials because this will allow you to further expand your capabilities and become an expert in!
18Tell us something you have never told anyone else.
In the early days of my career, I was profoundly inspired by the unnoticed details in the urban landscapes of Tokyo.
19Who has inspired you in your life and why?
The architect who has influenced me the most is my uncle. From my childhood, he taught me that in architectural design, the concept is the most important aspect, and that I should pursue designs that can only be realized within that specific context.
20What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
Persistence, passion, and patience are the keys to success in architecture. Always strive to learn and grow from each project, no matter the scale. And remember, true innovation often comes from challenging our comfort zones and embracing the unknown.
21Do you have anything else you would like to add to the interview?
I would like to express my gratitude to the MUSE Design Awards for this platform that not only celebrates design excellence but also fosters a global dialogue on the future of our built environments.

Winning Entries

Hotel Marina Gold
| 2024

Hotel Marina Gold | Nobuaki Miyashita and MR STUDIO Co., Ltd.

Aida Sekkei Precut Division Ibaraki Factory | 2024

Aida Sekkei Precut Division Ibaraki Factory | MR Studio Co Ltd

Nobuaki Miyashita

Nobuaki Miyashita is the CEO of MR STUDIO Co., Ltd., in Tokyo, Japan. With nearly 30 years in architectural design, he has significantly shaped spaces and landscapes with innovative approaches. His firm handles a wide range of architectural projects, including residential, commercial, and urban developments.

Read more about Nobuaki Miyashita of MR STUDIO Co.,Ltd's interview with the 2024 TITAN Property Awards!