The recipient of numerous international design awards, Tokujin Yoshioka was born in Saga Prefecture in 1967. After graduating from design school in Tokyo, he studied under designer Kuramata Shiro (1987-1988) and then worked for Issey Miyake until 1992. It was during this time with the famous fashion designer that Tokujin Yoshioka excelled as a designer in his own right and started to freelance and ultimately open his own firm. Today you will find him busy at work in the areas of art, architecture, design, and fashion. I have included his official website below which beautifully catalogs his design work over the years.
ABOVE │ Installation Sensing Nature, Mori Art Museum 2010
Transformational Public Spaces
As a person of the hospitality industry, I am always on the lookout for designers who are able to transform public spaces into something magical. When I learned that the old Park Hotel in Kyoto was about to be transformed, I had my doubts as the actual physical structure had its limitations. On top of this the Hotel is in a neighborhood of historical significance thereby makes major changes to the building next to impossible.
The Hyatt Regency Kyoto feels like a brand new hotel. There are traces of the old Park Hotel (if you look hard enough and know what to look for), but the new feel and sense of intimate comfort is due in part to the design team at Super Potato. At the core of their design philosophy is the importance put on traditional Japanese materials and sense of space which has proven to be timeless for generations and the key for success. Whether you are downstairs in the Japanese restaurant Touzan or at the Grill in the main lobby area, you feel as though you are in Japan. Many hoteliers miss this aspect of the guest experience and though they may have extraordinary luxury and comfort, they could be in London, New York or Peoria, Illinois for that matter.
To get a sense of the difference of the rooms at the Hyatt Regency Kyoto, take a look at the difference (I was able to find pictures of the old Park Hotel guest rooms).