Aug. 2017

Taking an objective approach Taking an objective approach Taking an objective approach

Shogo Kawahara/Chief Producer, Production Division No. 1 Studio

Being able to share opinions based on users’ thoughts with the client as well as creatives in the office.

Shogo Kawahara

Chief Producer, Production Division No. 1 Studio

Born in Tokyo in 1977, where he was also raised. After working at a record manufacturer and production company, he joined Nippon Design Center in 2015. His hobbies include music. He originally wanted to be a professional DJ. Although he moved out of Tokyo when his daughter was born and the clubs grew further away, he still DJs at lounge parties sometimes. His most recent worry is that the moles that have settled in his garden will not leave.

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Hello, my name is Shogo Kawahara. I am a producer at Nippon Design Center. I am mainly in charge of work for Toyota Motor Corporation. The projects involve various media formats, including catalogs and websites. As a manager of entire projects, I manage schedules, budgets, design, and photography and filming.

Since joining NDC, the Toyota PRIUS catalog was the project that had the most significant impact on me. With the full model change, the theme of the catalog was “PRIUS! IMPOSSIBLE.” The idea of making what up until now was impossible possible meant we decided to try a presentation that differed from what we had done in the past for this catalog. The challenge was how to get young people who are less interested in cars excited about the PRIUS. We passed a wide range of ideas back and forth, such as making the catalog like a magazine, changing the way the engine is described, and so on. In the end, we created a tie-up with the magazine POPEYE. The magazine-like design and text gained high praise from both the client and users. Everything about it was new, making it a very rewarding project to work on.

What is ultimately important in my work? I believe it is seeing things from the user’s perspective. With cars, everyone who has a driver’s license is the target audience. Whenever I go to renew my license, I realize again just what a wide range of ages the people are who have licenses. So, how does the catalog appear to them? The concept is of course important when designing. But I always work so that I can think in my own way from the user’s perspective and be able to share opinions with the client as well as creatives in the office.

I think I live the furthest from NDC than anyone else at the company. Every day, I commute to Ginza, taking the train for an hour and fifteen minutes. Having moved, I learned that living in the country has its own way of life. People do not live thinking only about Tokyo. The newest stores or brands do not matter. Currently, I get to experience the feelings found in both urban and rural ways of life, which is a lot of fun. Commuting for long periods of time every day changes your sense of distance. It is like your limiter comes off; you become more active. But, my house really is far away. Very far. I love how my life is right now, but there are times when I wish I was just a bit closer to everything.

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