What determined your passion for design? Tell us about the moment when you decided this is the way to go?

I was fortunate to have grown up in Tokyo, which offered world-class art and culture. I had annual visits to opera, symphony, theater, and art museums, which shaped my love for art and design. Although I pursued a business career post-college, I worked closely with creative teams to bring a compelling product to market. Influenced perhaps by my mother who brought beauty to our home life, I’ve always had the desire to design beautiful environments. One thing I know for certain is when I align my passion with what I do for a living, it’s a proven recipe for success, and that’s why I followed my passion to pursue this career.

Where do you find inspiration?

Hospitality industry: Hotel and restaurant designs evolve around all five senses and creating experiences, I’d like to do the same for residences. Fashion: Having a background in fashion, textile and merchandising at Nike, I seek inspiration by staying current with fashion trends. Travel: I tap into history and cultural insight through form, color, and texture. Every culture represents something unique and that alone can trigger dynamic trends and ideas in another country.

If you had no limits (money, resources), what would you create?

I’d love to work with someone like Kengo Kuma, a globally acclaimed Japanese architect, to design/build a boutique hotel in the Pacific Northwest that showcases the beauty of modern and traditional Japanese architecture and design. The hotel would offer world-class Japanese cuisines, spa, garden, along with an art museum, where curated artists from Japan could display their work.

What is your favorite book/magazine on design?

How about your favorite site? Books: Rhapsody by Kelly Wearstler, Designing Design by Kenya Hara; Magazine: Hospitality Design; Online:,

What trends do you see emerging in Portland’s architecture and design?

One emerging need, if not trend, is our homelessness epidemic in Portland. I think we creatives need to ask ourselves how we can solve those problems from a design perspective that creates a city that’s safe for everyone.

What are 3 things you can’t live without?

Smile (I can’t imagine a world without a smile), Love, Music.

What part of the world do you most want to visit?

Having traveled the world extensively in my 20s and 30s on business, I’d like to explore the Scandinavian countries to study their progressive ways with health care, education and keeping people well and happy. I resonate with Scandinavian design, which resembles Japanese design, in their simplicity, pure thought and stunning beauty.

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