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2018 Judges

Atsuhiko sugiyama

Atsuhiko Sugiyama

Founder - The Wholedesign inc.


Atsuhiko Sugiyama was born in Japan, where he studied architecture and began his career at a company specializing in hotel and restaurant design. It was here he learned an appreciation for the basics of retail development. But it was only when Sugiyama founded the architectural and interior design firm THE WHOLEDESIGN that he was finally able to apply that fundamental knowledge to his motivating vision: To design spaces the way a storyteller tells stories. Fusing the elements of a beautiful space – people, nature, circumstance, time and emptiness – Sugiyama aims to create structures alive with the dynamism and drama of great storytelling.

Design excellence

Design excellence to me is work that could last forever. It’s true that none of us knows what will last; but I believe that a classic design is not one which imitates what we’ve seen before. It is a design which combines the problem-solving nature of good design with something deeper, even troubling: the problem-presentation of great art. While architectural design aims to make things easier for those who experience it, art has a different goal: To raise questions and pose dilemmas, and to provoke feelings of wonder – perhaps even awe – with new, challenging, yet truly classic visions.