Design Studio LondonKunihiro Takei

Driving, modeling, and music

I don't really work on design in my off-time, but I do like drawing, so I'll draw things like pictures of my daughter in my sketchbook. I also enjoy driving—I've driven all around the UK. This past summer I drove all the way up to Loch Ness in Scotland. I've also been to Wales and all the way to Cornwall at the southern tip of the UK. I drive about 100 to 200 miles on my off days. The scenery in the UK is truly beautiful. I regret not bringing my motorcycle with me.
I also enjoy collecting model trains and airplanes. They can be obtained quite easily in the UK, and they're inexpensive as well, so I'm often in modeling shops on the weekends. Right now I'm into diecast passenger jets. They're printed using a method called tampo printing that lets you create very neat prints. Another thing I like —for leisure as well as for work—is going to live music performances in London. I recently became friends with a member of a band called The Go! Team. They're big enough in London to show up in newspaper and magazine articles, but lately they've become popular in Japan as well, and they've performed in the Fuji Rock Festival a few times.

Always thinking about synchronization

There are moments when multiple elements, seemingly unrelated at first glance, come into alignment to achieve the maximum amount of "torque," like planets in conjunction, or like when the two pieces of a nunchaku line up in a straight line as it is being swung—I call that "synchronization." I'm always thinking about synchronization, both in human relationships and in products. I'll think to myself, "Right now I'm in sync with this person," or "Right now I'm in sync with this slope." For me, design is all about synchronization, too—bringing together the center of a person and the center of an object in their most harmonized condition. Like with Son Goku and his magic cloud.
I still also have this desire to create cool-looking synthesizers, a desire I've felt ever since I first encountered YMO. Someday I want to design the coolest synthesizer possible, one that can hold its own next to history-making masterpieces. I can't die until I've done that [laughs]. There's a part of me that continues to search for new possibilities in synthesizer design in my many conversations with musicians in London.