Ishikawa Ayako

  • #product
  • #CMF
  • #UI

Joined 2021

Thinking about better personal relations through design

I personally experience the breadth of design work at Denso daily

I was a fresh recruit when I joined Denso in 2021. Since my assignment about five months ago, I have been involved in the design of wrapping on small-sized mobility vehicles for exhibitions, the design of colors, materials, and finishes (CMF) of CO2 collectors, and the design of computer-graphic vehicles that appear in videos depicting the future of mobility. I have also taken on user interface design, which I did not major in at university. I do not just sit at my desk at work. In fact, I go to Kyushu and the Chugoku region to scrutinize designs of actual items onsite.
The skills I needed for the various jobs I have been responsible for are all different, which has made me realize the breadth of work in Denso's designs. I study every day to master new tools and increase my knowledge of products and industries.
Thinking about better personal relations through design

I am a product designer. After thinking about the value of the product, in addition to the relationship of the product and the person, I consciously think about the relationships among the people involved in the product. This includes the people that use the product, the people around the users, and the makers and sellers that deliver the product to the users. When you design, there is an erroneous tendency to focus on the details, but I think it is possible to discover new touch points and possibilities by looking broadly at the influences of the product. Furthermore, instead of being limited to the relationships between people, the design must also consider environment and society. I want to become a designer that can create value while adjusting my scope from micro to macro.
I tried various design fields as a student

At university, I belong to a laboratory called the Equipment and service design studio and learned user experience design and color, material, and finish (CMF) design with a focus on product design. I also had an interest in projection mapping and other computer-graphic video production, graphic design, and space design, so I proactively took courses and participated in competitions with friends. The number one reason I wanted to join Denso was to be involved in a wide range of design. Designing aftermarket parts for motorcycles part-time also got me interested in Denso.

After entering graduate school, I started a baked sweets specialty shop with two friends and have continued these activities privately after joining Denso. In April 2021, we successfully raised money through crowdfunding and launched a new cake brand. I was fully responsible for everything related to design, including cake design, supervision of product images, web design, logo design, package design, and brand design. There were many difficulties, such as the process of building a brand from scratch and the fear of being solely responsible for the design. However, because our organization is small, we had many opportunities to get direct feedback from customers, so the efforts were very enjoyable.
Doing what you love

I was treated as a professional designer from the day I was assigned to the Design department of Denso. I was very happy that I was assigned a project on that day. Naturally, the senior members of the department solidly support new members, but I believe that the flat organizational structure enables even young people to work independently enough to think, “I want to do this”. Furthermore, if you let it be known what you want to do, you will be assigned work that matches it. In my case, I really wanted to be involved with color, material, and finish (CMF) design. Because I conveyed this to my boss, I am now able to be involved with such work. If you prepare and have an attitude that conveys what you want to do, I believe that this workplace will bless you with many opportunities to grow, and work will be enjoyable.
The feeling of getting better everyday

Everyone probably feels this way, but when you are a designer, you sometimes feel embarrassed about things that you made in the past. The fact is that the speed in which you feel this embarrassment comes faster than it did when you were a student. In other words, you are getting better faster. Because I never do the same job twice, I have to learn new knowledge and skills with every task. As a result, by the time a project has finished, I have always mastered a new skill. Furthermore, in addition to regular work, there are many opportunities to improve your skills if you want, such as taking external 3D software courses or participating in design workshops. This type of learning and bits of advice from senior colleagues become daily motivation, and my personal experience of getting better every day is now my reason for working.


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