photographer paul barbera brings us a rare and private look at the workspaces of some of japan’s most-esteemed creative minds. frame publishing’s newest title ‘where they create, japan’ documents the studios, offices, meeting rooms and model shops of 32 japanese visionaries, providing exclusive insight into their creative process. artists, architects, graphic designers, shoemakers and embroidery craftsmen are among the broad collection of personal profiles, with studio studies inside the workspaces of renowned names such as tadao ando, azuma makoto, kohei nawa and nendo.

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at the studio of tadao ando (also banner image) — see projects by tadao ando on designboom here

 

 

‘japan is unlike anywhere else in the world,’ barbera describes. ‘every time I visit japan, I always walk away with more questions than answers. I felt I was not alone with this sentiment — japan has had a major influence over the west in terms of creativity but it’s always dynamic and changing. I believe we are in one of those moments again where critical discussions about design and culture are revolving around japan – from fashion, architecture to art and literature. I wanted to capture this moment by spending a extended period of time to shoot creative studios in one country — something I have not done before for this project.’

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at the studio of kohei nawa — see projects by kohei nawa on designboom here

 

 

‘where they create, japan’ features 312 pages of visual imagery alongside interviews and essays that shed light onto the country’s creative thinking. barbera captures glimpses of intimate moments inside the workspaces — tadao ando sketches alone at his desk; azuma makoto’s feet are surrounded by flower cuttings; takahashi hiroko carefully adjusts a garment on a mannequin. ‘japan still maintains a degree of mystery to me and I think this might be the way I like it,’ barbera continues. ‘the book has allowed me to explore and allow others an insight but I think the conclusion of the book is — everything doesn’t need to be explained.’

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at the studio of kohei nawa

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at the studio of kohei nawa

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at the studio of takahashi hiroko

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at the studio of azuma makoto — see projects by azuma makoto on designboom here

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at the studio of azuma makoto

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at the studio of torafu — see projects by torafu on designboom here

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at the studio of torafu

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mariko mori — see projects by mariko mori on designboom here

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at the studio of nendo — see projects by nendo on designboom here

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at the studio of shinji ohmaki — see work by shinji ohmaki on designboom here 

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at the studio of kaibutsu

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‘where they create, japan’
photo by josh dickinson

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