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Q + A with Joey Shimoda, IIDA, AIA

Joey Shimoda, IIDA, AIA
Shimoda Design Group
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Claim To Fame:
Award-Winning Showrooms For Steelcase.
IIDA Member Since: 2006

What inspired you to become a designer?
In 1982 I saw “The Presence of the Past” show in San Francisco (a traveling exhibit of the Venice Biennale). It was a time when people like Aldo Rossi and Michael Graves were the real forces in architecture, and names like Zaha Hadid and OMA were just emerging as the young vanguard. They had two things in common, beautiful drawings and no built work. But the drawings and the ideas were so seductive, and I was completely inspired.

What motivates you?
I’m driven by the simple fact that time just keeps whizzing by, and if I really want to accomplish anything, I had better get moving.

What’s the most important part of your creative process?
It starts for me at the moment I begin to draw. It’s the moment that the dialogue between what I have been thinking and feeling starts to be challenged by reality.
What types of doodles fill your sketch- book?
Lately, the lines that fill it look suspiciously like complex chemical formula options for potato chips, with cross cut ridges, or hard boiled eggs.

What are your pet peeves?
My biggest pet peeve is apathy.
What is your favorite example of good design?
The Porsche 356 series of automobiles. I think they are a wonderful example of the marriage between design and engineering. It is exquisitely edited down to its essence but retains a unique sense of identity and style. It is also an example of how great things take many talented people and how each of those people inspire each other to continue to evolve and improve the things they make.