In the video above, Tokujin Yoshioka demonstrates the material qualities of Memory, his new chair for Moroso. Below, a Q&A about the chair's backstory and the role design should play in the world. Images of Yoshioka's work for Kartell and Swarovski can be found in our extensive Milan Design Week 2010 Gallery.
Core77: Tell us about Memory, your new piece for Moroso.
Tokujin Yoshioka: Memory is a chair without a fixed shape, but an infinite, unlimited possibility of form. We are now living in a time of change, so it is important that everybody participate in design. This chair expresses that: people can change the form of the chair freely.
C77: Materiality and natural phenomena seem to play an important role in your work. Can you discuss this?
TY: Design is not only about forms or shapes. I want to work with emotions, sound, light, and fragrance. All these things are elements of design.
C77: Once you have an idea—for example, to grow a chair from a crystal like you did in 2008—how do you investigate it in the studio?
TY: Of course our studio is a design studio. but we conduct many different kinds of experiments throughout the year for each project. For the Memory chair, in particular, I wanted to express a shape that cannot be imagined by human beings. The process started with material—I wanted to use aluminum fabric. Then, we created about 50 different samples to verify the correct shape and size.
For this project, Yoshioka developed a special, crushable fabric from recycled aluminum.
C77: What do you want to accomplish with design?
TY: It's important to create things that will appeal to one's heart once in motion. It's not important to design beautiful shapes. I want to create things that will touch one's heart and stir emotions. That is the value of design, to create feeling by appealing to all senses.
C77: What do you look to for inspiration?
TY: Things that exist in nature are the most beautiful. Things that are not made by human beings are the fountain of my inspiration.