Original Thinking

Interview JUSTIN ROSS
Photography JÖRGEN AXELVALL

In our age of information inspiration is at our fingertips. But where does true originality come from? We selected some of the most forward-thinking, creative, and authentic innovators in art, design, fashion, and culture to tell us about their perspective on the defining qualities of originality. Innovative, essential, exciting, or eccentric, these are people who are relying on their roots and paving their own way in a world full of strong competition.

HIROTAKA NAKAGAWA, EYEWEAR DESIGNER in Tokyo
Original Simple Quality | Beauty is more than the sum of ten parts

“For this project we positioned our goal of achieving beauty at the same level as ‘functionality.’ This is where our originality lies.”

Hirotaka Nakagawa eyewear designer Tokyo JÖRGEN AXELVALL
10eyevan.com

We at 4SEE are all fan of your eyewear for its intricate design and meticulous details. Tell us more about your eyewear product, 10 eyevan.
Evolving around the concept of the ‘beautiful tools,’ 10 eyevan is eyewear that achieves functionality and design that I think are purely beautiful, based on my aesthetics. I believe beautiful tools are made out of the beautiful fine parts. Going through various considerations and many tryouts over three years, 10 eyevan was born based on a total of 10 outstanding parts.

What makes your design original?
Usually, functionality such as ‘durability,’ “ease of use’ and ‘lightness’ is the priority when it comes down to the so-called best tools, but with 10 eyevan, “gracefulness” is incorporated.
Beauty and artistry are not always necessary when creating tools, but for this project we positioned our goal of achieving beauty at the same level as ‘functionality.’ This is where our originality lies.

What have you learned from designing 10 eyevan?
I have over 20 years experience, as a machine tool manufacturer, at an optical store, I have been involved in all aspects of sales, marketing & strategy and design, resulting in 10 eyevan.

Hirotaka Nakagawa eyewear designer Tokyo JÖRGEN AXELVALL
10eyevan.com

What were the most difficult challenges along the way?
For those who are in craftsmanship works, simplicity and originality are the most difficult themes to tackle. We at 10 eyevan are always challenging these themes.

What did you do before your current role?
I was involved in planning and design for a wide variety of eyewear brands. In parallel with 10 eyevan, I have been designing EYEVAN 7285 since 2013.

Where do you look for inspiration?
I am influenced by artificial objects such as architectural objects, industrial products as well as natural materials; anything I see can be influential.

Do you think of original being “essential” or “innovative”?
If you are involved in making items considering ease of use and durability, your creative thinking and technology evolve naturally. These processes are reflected in new products leading it to it being original as a result.

Hirotaka Nakagawa eyewear designer Tokyo JÖRGEN AXELVALL
10eyevan.com

What advice do you have for people to stand out from the crowd?
If you strongly hold the belief that you want to make things different, thinking and actions naturally follow. As a result, there will be something that didn’t exist before.

In ten years where do you want 10 eyevan to be?
Since new collections come out every year or year and a half, so in 10 years, the sixth collection will be about to be released, but to be honest, I can’t think that far… We apply highly special ideas and technical methods to each collection, and skilled workers and manufacturers play a big role. I’d like to strive for a long time, considering these facts.

Tell us about your favorite eyewear and why?
It is hard to pick a favorite! All 10 eyevan models, which are shaped by my ideals.

More info at: 10eyevan.com