Design is everywhere – and everything

Yoshishiro Yagi about the real sources of good design

Sometimes it is even about apple trees, folklore and embroidery at Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.

Yoshishiro Yagi, winner of 28 (!) Design Lions, gave the creative crowd some insights in what he believes regarding design. The surprising fact: It´s a lot about what is already there – ideas of our forefathers, old traditions and crafts, strong beliefs and a very down to earth attitude (and a bit of romanticism too, allowedly). You just need to see the details, realising the obvious. – And the beauty in it.

Thus, Yagi’s theory is quite simple:

Design is Nature

– found even in an – allegedly doomed – organic apple tree orchard in Japan and in the mind of its farmer, whose teeth are too bad to bite his own apples, but who believes in what he´s doing.

Design is Research

– found even in childrens’ books, respectively in the work of Dick Bruna, who used to study animals in the zoo before creating his very minimal comic style drawings.

Design is Questioning

– found in Yagi’s work for Panasonic, wondering why electricity is taken for granted. Thus, he made it visible by charging batteries with the energy of dancing Cheerleaders, gym guys, a hamster running its wheel. – And selling the batteries along with the connected picture on eBay.

Design is Culture

– found even in the dresses of Japanese dancers, very old glass art, or rechniques of embroidery.

Design is Necessity (and Beauty)

– found even on colorful walls of houses near Venice. The legend says that it was either melancholy or need. The former for the sailors who liked to see and still recognize their houses from afar when they had to leave their homes. The latter to make obvious where ill people lived in times of pest infections.

Design is Logic

– found in Yagi´s design of a very thin package for contact lenses, that is hygienic, lightweight and cheap. And complete with a very minimal and trendy graphic design that works as a beautiful instruction manual.

And at the end of the day even an old Italian woman, unconsciously creating the most beautiful and unique design with her embroideries, has an answer to the BW Lions’ essential question:

‘If it’s valuable it’s worth it. And if you don´t dream, what do you even get?’

Creativity in a nutshell.

Text: Valérie Hasenmayer