SCV: For example?
DJ: The idea of the vending machine. In Japan, people live in remote villages, and stores close at a certain hour, but of course if one wants to one can ride u to a vending machine and just about buy anything they wanted to. This of course completely intrigues me. Let me ask you. You have an I-phone?
SCV: (taking it out) Yes, actually I do.
DJ: Okay, have a look at it, it’s the ultimate design wonder. What is it in it’s simplistic form? (pause) A vending machine, albeit an electronic one. You can get stock quotes, your email, phone messages, make calls, get on the internet. It’s the ultimate consumer product, and this I think is the new paradigm that one has to pay attention to as we go into the twenty first century. It ultimately sets you up for a very personal experience.
SCV: How do you see your role within your firm? After all there’s a combination of you still doing personal projects and that of collective productions be it desks, chairs, (a note , I am surprised to learn that there are hundreds of thousands of public library chairs that Dakota has made his trademark symbol) the re adaptation of the Steinway piano, martini glasses (for Bombay Saphire)…
DJ: It’s like the orchestra. I spend all day looking at the light, checking to see if it’s correct, listening to the way it all sounds. Ultimately I’m either pleasantly surprised or concerned. It’s like been the lead conductor charged with bringing full force to the orchestra and this ultimately requires attention to detail and a deep appreciation of what each part of the orchestra is capable of and how ultimately how that all comes about aesthetically. It’s a kind of like a movie improv, even though ultimately I always know what I want in my mind.
SCV: How do you ultimately perceive your designs?
DJ: I like to think that I am permeating the culture at large. I want to be that guy one comes across in eighty years that is an embodiment of a particular staple, that still has longevity, and usefulness.
Creating for me is a very personal experience, it’s never about mass production, it’s about deriving an understanding of what intrigues me and how one can re define a process, a layering of material, form with an awareness to an ultimate very personal experience.
SCV: Finally what is the embodying philosophy that best describes you?
DJ: To be open to the idea that one can change their minds and to always pay attention.
SCV: In that case, would you care for some more tea?
DJ: Yes, that would be perfect right about now.