Next to other Japanese frontrunners in interior design who have inspired us deeply over the last few years; names like Yusuke Seki, Jo Nagasaka of Schemata Architects, SIDES CORE and the ever-inspirational Nendo, Masamichi Katayama’s legendary Wonderwall design firm is a name that was still clearly missing in our online reflections of what moves us in the creations of others. Fortunately, with last August’s presentation of ‘Wonderwall Case Studies’, we can finally show our appreciation for their incredible vision, which this Summer was honored by Gestalten with the very first comprehensive exploration of the work, process, and mind-set of what is one of the most influential interior design firms in the world. The release of the compendium not only celebrates Katayama’s 15-year old prolific and profound body of work, but also honors the designer’s 50th birthday. Wonderwall’s East meets West approach to retail design has produced integral successes like the development of a inspirational brand space for Lexus; to the global flagship design of Uniqlo, that has become something of a benchmark in its field — the book presents rich documentation on eleven milestone projects out of a portfolio brimming with international projects, exciting collaborations, and an impressive list of clientele. Visual essays showcase the Wonderwall working culture. An in-depth profile, written by the M+ design curator Aric Chen, provides insight into Katayama’s early years, education, key influences, and major professional achievements. And a final catalog section presents a visual overview of twenty-three additional agency projects, highlighting Wonderwall’s reach and renown.
Step into this unprecedented insight of Masamichi Katayama’s mind, that goes far beyond just the finished projects, giving a unique perspective on his and Wonderwall’s extraordinary level of excellence.
‘Wonderwall Case Studies’, edited and designed by Winkreative, is an engaging and exciting book for interior design students, industry dilettantes, and professionals searching for inspiration. Nowhere else has Katayama’s unique approach been so deeply documented.
Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator, Architecture and Design at The Museum of Modern Art on the influence of Wonderwall:
Like very few other designers in recent history—giants like André Putman, Shiro Kuramata, Ettore Sottsass or Philippe Starck—Katayama has defined the 1990s and 2000s and changed the world of interior design.
Masamichi Katayama is known for its unconstrained approach in actualizing design concepts while respecting conventional and traditional design philosophies. Their proven strength lies in the ability to conceptualize distinctive environments that enhances the vision and branding clients aspire, creating environment that succeed in creating a sincere and inspirational environment within the relevant context. Since the firm began its career in interior design, it has broadened its practice to a more holistic approach doing both planning and the complete creative direction for clients. While the firm is based in Tokyo, projects have taken them to Europe, the U.S., Australia and other parts of Asia. Some of its numerous recent projects include the Brooklyn studio for Kaws, the incredible The Bank bar in Kamakura and the new AMBUSH WORKSHOP.
For all work by Wonderwall see here