Joey Shimoda3

Meet Our New Advisory Board: Joey Shimoda, Shimoda Design Group

March 3, 2021

Architect Joey Shimoda of Shimoda Design Group shares his sources of inspiration and motivation for the transformative work he and his firm are doing and where he thinks the industry is headed.

As part of our rebranding effort in 20201, i+s has revamped its Advisory Board and are excited to welcome so many talented designers into the fold. We recently sat down with Joey Shimoda, co-founder of Shimoda Design Group, to find out where he finds his motivation and inspiration, as well as where he sees the industry headed this year and beyond.

i+s: What motivates you to do the work that you do every day? Where do you find inspiration and purpose?   
Joey Shimoda: The thing that motivates me the most is an inner desire to create.  The way that this passion is fueled is by the thoughts works and deeds of those who work with me and those people who use their talents to make a better world.

i+s: How would you describe your design philosophy and who are the mentors and/or colleagues that helped shape it?  
JS: My design philosophy is still evolving, I am always hopeful of the possibilities of unique originality but I realize that much of what we do is finding practical solutions within the context of each project. I have been very fortunate to have worked with many people like Thom Mayne, Peter Wilson and Lauren Rottet, who have given me room to exercise my ideas. They have also provided mentorship by just allowing me to watch how they approached work and life.

i+s: What are you excited about as we head into 2021? What are your major concerns for our industry?  
JS: What excites me the most about 2021 is that it has started with a new administration and new sense of purpose. While I am not terribly political, I realized that civility, art and culture was deeply threatened. I think the biggest concern is our current inability to be together and to be the social creatures that we naturally are. At this point, it is still unclear when we can fully get society going and to be able to work and play together. Until we all feel like we can trust each other and our environment, we will continue to be creating solutions that isolate us rather than bring us together.       

i+s: What design trends do you think we can expect to see in the next few years?
JS: As an architect and interior designer who participates at many scales of design, I am more and more faced with how technology and the issues of climate change will continue to drive our profession towards higher degrees of accountability, precision and proof. Accountability in improving equality, diversity and opportunity for everyone. Precision in creating spaces that can be measured in their performance. Proof that what we create can be healthy and sustainable. The ideas and definitions of beauty and success may be very different 10 years from now. We are in a period of rapid evolution. The changes we create and pursue will have a profound impact on the future of our profession.

[Related: Here's Why the Design Industry Lacks Diversity and How It Will Change ]

i+s: What’s next for you and your firm? 
JS: Our studio is always trying to find ways to provide choice and to reveal the positive beauty and opportunity that we have in each project. This means we need to be able to quickly communicate the strengths of our design ideas with variation, beauty and economy. The pandemic has caused a reduction in work load and reduced the flow of future opportunity. We are using this time to reflect and we are challenging ourselves on how we work and create. 

i+s: What’s your favorite Instagram account you follow? (Or, tell us another fun fact such as which city you hope to visit once it’s safer to travel, etc.)
JS: When my friends ask me about my Instagram accounts and the accounts that I follow, I say that I have an Instagram of a fourteen-year-old. It is somewhat embarrassing, and my screen time per day is absolutely appalling. What I have decided to do is to make time to read and review the mountain of books and publications that I have collected for so many years. I have always romanticized that books are treasures of knowledge.

Currently, I am actively changing my diet from watching endless cat and dog videos to revisiting the world of books that I love and inspire me. Incidentally, most of those things are the same things that I discovered and fell in love with when I was fourteen.  

To meet more of our new advisory board members, listen to recent episodes of our I Hear Design podcast and check back here for more Q&A’s like this one

Meet our other Advisory Board members:

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