OMOTENASHI through Design: Window Display at Shiodome Bld. An Infinite 40cm Cube


Three lipsticks-three women, and a dollhouse for each

Three displays that exude individuality down to the smallest details, such as furniture and shoes

-- On the second floor of Shiseido's Shiodome Building, there is a window display that functions as a gentle divider between the entrance space and the meeting space, for visitors to walk around and admire. What is the concept behind this window display?

Kondo:One designer works on three 40-cm cuboid boxes and stages these tiny spaces filled with ideas. The displays are changed four times a year. The three designers, including myself, who produced the displays from 2015 to 2016, are gathered here today.

-- In that case, I will start right away by asking a question to Ms. Kondo, who produced the display from December 2015 to March 2016. What was your theme for the period?

Kondo:I was also involved in the artistic direction of the packaging for MAQuillAGE, so I tied in the design with the "Lady Red" campaign for the brand's 10th anniversary by personifying the characteristics of three red lipsticks, and creating dollhouses that match each of these lipstick characters. I placed the lipsticks in the center of the boxes, and produced staged rooms for viewers to imagine the women who use them.

-- The idea of likening a display window to a dollhouse draws in the viewers, doesn't it? How did you decide on the concepts and interior designs for the three rooms?

Kondo:I took over the design code of MAQuillAGE that has been passed down and used the same color theme of black, red and gold across all the rooms. The first was based on the theme "sensual elegance." This was the most mature image I created, and I arranged a long dress and regal-looking high heels. The second theme was "light and feminine," so I used a fluffy dress and feminine pumps. The final box was based on "edgy sweetness." This was created through a lacy dress and sandals, and accessories that exuded a cosmopolitan image.

-- What did you take particular care with?

Kondo:I made most of the accessories myself. I have always been good at sewing, so I sewed all the dresses for the dolls by hand. I also had the brass furniture and fittings, made from two-dimensional graphics, produced by Gendai-koubou, our window design partner. These tiny dollhouses remind us of how we played with dolls when we were children, and make our hearts flutter no matter how old we are. It was an enjoyable assignment that allowed me to feel like a child again.

Attention paid to the details in the attire, from selection of fabric to silhouette. Created based on images of how the women would look wearing the attire.

Royals that jump out from playing cards. Put on sunscreen and head to the resorts!

The three royals, who have taken proper sun protection measures by using sunscreen, leap out into resorts.

-- Ms. Tokuhisa, who was in charge of the window display from August to October 2015, produced a display based on the concept of sun protection

Tokuhisa:First, since it was in the summer, I decided to create a display using sunscreen products such as ANESSA and SEA BREEZE. My work depicted a story featuring the Jack, Queen, and King from playing cards. These members of royalty originally stayed holed up in their cards because they did not want to become sunburnt. However, after they got their hands on the sunscreen, they made an energetic leap toward the resorts. The playing cards scattered on the bottoms of the boxes were laid on papers printed with shadows to represent the direct sunlight in midsummer, and I created the atmosphere of resorts by using original card designs in vivid colors. In my everyday work, I often have to create expressions of feminine beauty, so I took this opportunity to produce something more charming and playful. I approached Mr. Yuki Matsueda, an artist renowned for his protruding three-dimensional artwork, and asked for his collaboration.

-- It really appeared as if the figurines were leaping out from the display case. How did you achieve this?

Tokuhisa:This is the characteristic artistic style of Mr. Matsueda. He pushes the figurines into the processed transparent resin to create the visual effect that they are actually jumping out from the flat surface. I communicated to Mr. Matsueda the images that I had in mind for the tiny 3 cm high figurines, and he created several designs based on that. I had the image of characters leaping out from the passive world of the patterns on playing cards into the active and dynamic world of summer. As much as possible, I wanted to create an impression of active movement. On the other hand, due to the heat and pressure of the resin at the production stage, there were instances when the delicately molded figurines looked as if they were going to break. Thanks to the technical and molding skills of the artist, I believe we succeeded in producing a fun display.

The active Jack (photo) goes mountain-climbing. The Queen bathes elegantly in the sea, while the King goes golfing. The display is a staging of the different vacation styles of the three characters.
The Queen has been selected from several options of skin color and poses.

A representation of air filled with fragrance for a perfume display

From top, displays of ZEN, Ever Bloom, and SHISEIDO MEN

-- Last but not least, I will now turn to Ms. Kurotani, who was in charge of the display from April to June 2016. Could you tell us about the motif and concepts of your design?

Kurotani:I used the motif of the three perfumes under Global SHISEIDO, and took a long time to study how I could stage a "display of space" in a 40cm cuboid box. The concept that I came up with was "filled with fragrance." I wanted to create a visualization of a space--usually invisible to us--that becomes gradually filled with fragrance from the spray of a perfume bottle. I thought that this could perhaps also be tied in with Japanese expressions relating to the senses, such as ma (space) and oku (depth). At the beginning, I had intended to visualize the image of the fragrance itself and make it easier to grasp, such as by giving it form and shape. However, in the end I arrived at a minimalist expression based on the concept of "subtracting the space."

-- This aggregation of tiny parts exudes an atmosphere of fantasy, doesn't it? Could you tell us what you took particular care with?

Kurotani:For the perfume ZEN, I used a Japanese-style checkered pattern; for SHISEIDO MEN, I fused the sharpness of silver aluminum with roundness; and for Ever Bloom, I took the essence of the curves on the perfume bottle to create a 3D pattern. All the tiny parts measuring about 20mm make up grid-like layers.

-- It makes us want to come closer and look inside, doesn't it? This is a staging that allows the viewers to enjoy fragrances from an angle that they prefer.

Kurotani:All the designs create the sense that the form, color, expression of the perfume bottle, and atmosphere change depending on the viewpoint. This window display is unique in that it can be enjoyed from any angle. I believe I have succeeded in creating an interesting display that looks as if perfume bottles are floating amidst the fragrance. This was my debut window display production.

For Ever Bloom, delicate parts in 25 shades of pink create subtle gradations.
The display creates a representation of space filled with fragrance after a perfume bottle is opened.
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Kaori Kondo
Yuiko Hihara
Sunscreen products
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Ayami Tokuhisa
Yuiko Hihara
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Yumi Kurotani
Yuiko Hihara
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