Q&A with Momoko Kudo
1. Please tell us a bit about this architectural project and the design concepts used in the space.
The first flagship shop for the skincare and cosmetics brand Orbis. ‘Comfort’ is a keyword for the brand and so to convey this feeling through the space, I used soil (tiles), light, wind and greenery.
2. In which part of the space did you use tiles, and why?
The main area, which is located immediately after the entrance. I used tiles to embody the concept mentioned above, as well as from a functional perspective in the wet area.
3. Can you explain your thoughts and ideas that led to this particular tile design?
I wanted to reproduce the brand’s colour and try to create organic, hand-cut tiles.
4. Please tell us about the design concept for the tiles you used.
Tiles are industrial products and so I assumed that they were all the same. However, quite a lot of old tiles have colour variations, due to uneven firing, and I really liked their organic nature. I was interested in the possibility of making something with those kinds of organic variations, but in a controlled manner. I also heard that many tiles are discarded due to uneven colouring, so in order to reduce waste I incorporated variations from the beginning, and asked for the tiles to be produced with the intention of using all of them.
5. Why did you choose a custom made tile for this interior?
The tile maker paid attention to the finest of details and enjoyed the production process. The resulting tiles are unlike anything I’ve ever seen before and so I’m really satisfied.
6. What are your thoughts regarding tiles in comparison with other materials?
I had a strong impression that tiles were an industrial product. They are reliable, but I felt that they may also become boring. When I went to see the tiles being made, most of the work was done by hand, which was really different to what I had expected.
7. In your opinion, what are the characteristics and strengths of Tajimi tiles?
Tajimi has various makers who possess a wide range of technology, so I felt that it was well suited to the development of original products. I had the impression that tiles vary little between makers, but Tajimi tiles stand out for their different characteristics and increase the possibility of creating something memorable.
Momoko Kudo / MMA Inc.
After graduating from the Environmental Design Department at Tama Art University, Kudo completed the masters program at the Fujimori Lab at Kogakuin University’s Graduate School. In 2016 she founded Momoko Kudo Architects (currently known as MMA inc.). From architecture to interior and exhibition design, she designs spaces across a range of genres. Her recent works include House in Hasami, the venue layout for the Yokohama Triennale and Skincare Lounge by ORBIS.
Q&A with Momoko Kudo