red dot: Why did you take part in the red dot award: product design? What makes this design competition special?
Takahiro Tsuge: While we were confident about the outstanding value of this design, we wanted to obtain a more objective evaluation and to make more people aware of it.
red dot: For me, the accolade red dot: best of the best is...
Takahiro Tsuge: ... proof that this new proposal that we have created is objectively seen as possessing value.
red dot: In your opinion, what are the particular challenges that face designers today?
Takahiro Tsuge: Achieving differentiation through technology has become more difficult than before. It is now much harder to take the approach of “expressing technical distinction through design”; rather, designers have to pursue “differentiation through the design itself”.
red dot: What particular challenges did you encounter when realizing your product?
Takahiro Tsuge: Since the Sountina had some technical distinctions from the start, I was able to concentrate on expressing those differences. However, with a configuration comprised of only a few elements, all of which were functionally crucial, it was extremely challenging to achieve an aesthetic product while still maximising its functionality.
red dot: What design philosophies influence your work?
Takahiro Tsuge: My foundation is functionalism, where "form follows function". I want to create things that are genuinely desired.
red dot: What role models do you have?
Takahiro Tsuge: Frankly, I do not have any particular role model.