Katayama–san, once you've agreed to work with a client, what is the next step for you in designing an interior for them?
First of all, I study the brand: The passion they had when they started, their history, how they have evolved, their present–day positioning, their future vision, and so forth. I try to learn as much as possible. Then I brainstorm the design concept while considering the project's intent and the message they want to deliver through the store. Site visits usually come later. At the site, I usually observe the visibility of the store from the street as well as the foot–traffic flow of the neighborhood.
What are your primary concerns when designing an interior?
My objective is to create a store that communicates the brand's philosophy. So my answer would be different for every project because each client has a unique story. Also, I always pay attention to form, color, and details, which should be fresh each time.