Norihiko Shinya: PDA Juror Interview

15 Jul 2014  •  6 min read

Retail, recreation, hospitality and F&B – Norihiko Shinya, interior designer and vice-president of Japanese interior design firm Super Potato, has had a hand in casting their spaces and the experiences within them. He uses rich materials and complex compositions to make spaces that resound with quiet grandeur. Case in point: the 1998 renovation for The Grand Hyatt Singapore reception lobby, music bar and Mezza9 restaurant. The project was seminal in establishing the firm’s design style, attracting and spinning-off further hospitality commissions across Asia. DesignSingapore Council speaks with Mr Shinya, a juror for the President’s Design Award 2014, to find out the interiors of his mind…

My personal style signifier is a small moustache that I've had for 30 years.

Three places in Tokyo to see and experience world-class contemporary architecture or design are the Sougetsu Kaikan building by Kenzo Tange; Toranomon Hills, a skyscraper complex; and the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo.

The important young emerging talent is Japanese architect Sousuke Fujimoto.

I’d like to design my very own hotel in Singapore.

An aspect of my work that people do not know is we do off-site construction, a method for interior design where the mock-up of a whole venue is constructed off-site at a factory and later sent to site.

An artistic pursuit I have not tried but would be keen to do is pottery.

A recent gift I purchased for my wife was a red crocodile-skin handbag.

My current obsession is experiencing Singaporean food, alcohol and entertainment – and using the experience for my work.

As host to a perfect dinner, my imaginary guests for the table of five are Jackie Chan, the Hong Kong movie star; Dick Lee, the Singaporean entertainer; Dato Richard Tan, my dear Singaporean friend; and Susuma Fujita, the Japanese CEO of Internet company CyberAgent – to eat, drink and have extensive discussion on new creations.

My parents advised me to know my priorities. They have faith that I believe in myself and so can do freely as I wish.

Norihiko Shinya will speak at Jurors’ Forum II: Can the designer save the world?, 25 July, National Design Centre.

Look out for the next PDA Juror interview: Jureeporn Thaidumrong, creative chairwoman of nudeJEH advertising agency.

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