Manager of the Instrument Design GroupKazuhito Nakajima
Outside the Office
This year's resolution: play an instrument at the end-of-year party
I usually spend my days off with my family. I have three children, and sometimes it feels like they take up all my time. We're always moving, always playing. Before, I often went yachting on Lake Hamana with an acquaintance who was seriously into yacht racing. Sometimes we'd enter the tournaments held at Hayama. I rather like how unforgiving it can be-there's this sense of being alive that you feel when you move your body, getting covered with dust in the process, even when working on a design job. I believe that process is important. I listen to all sorts of music without discrimination.
Every year the Design Laboratory rents out a live music house for our end of the year party. There, a number of groups give live performances. I've already gone and announced that I'll be performing as a player at the next party, though I haven't decided which instrument I'm going to play yet (laughs). I'm considering a few different options...maybe the piano, maybe the guitar, or maybe I'll even try to master one of the instruments whose design I was in charge of, such as the silent violin. You don't have to be able to play instruments in order to design them, but I do think having a love of music and musical instruments is quite important.
Design that looks to the future as much as to the past
One thing that's constantly on my mind is the fact that small innovations are the heart of design. This is something anyone can do, not just professional designers. I believe that the so-called evolution of musical instruments is nothing other than an accumulation of small improvements, of bit-by-bit increases in quality. As one final comment, if the piano has 300 years of history as people say, then today's piano designer must think 300 years into the future. I believe that this accumulation of small improvements, with an eye to the future just as much as to the past, is what's really important.