Us Blah + Me Blah is copy-edited by Kate Reiners.

Kim Boutin & David Broner

DVTK
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DVTK is a design studio based in London and created by Kim Boutin and David Broner. Though the studio was launched only recently, in May 2015, its co-founders have known each other for much longer; they’ve been collaborating since their first year at Olivier de Serres, a prestigious art and design school in Paris, combining David’s knowledge of 3D design with Kim’s expertise in interface and user experience design.

Today, what began as a side project between two frustrated students has become a compelling design studio, creating immersive digital experiences which are praised by customers and critics alike. David and Kim have worked with clients ranging from independents such as WAH Nails and 3INA to industry giants including Kenzo and Dior, and the pair stand out in their field for their unique mix of creativity and conviction. In this interview, DVTK explains the origins of their studio and the influences that inspire their work, and share their individual stories, which converged when they formed DVTK.

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Could you start by describing DVTK?

David Broner: DVTK is a design studio specialised in digital work. We are based in London, and we launched the studio in May 2015 when we moved there. 1 The studio focuses on, in lieu of standard websites, creating virtual worlds as websites. DVTK is based on the combination of our two fields of expertise. I am a 3D designer and, within our studio, I act more like an art director – I therefore focus on the visual aspect of the websites. I also do a lot of animations due to my previous experience in post-production 2 and storytelling.

Kim Boutin: I am a digital designer with a background in e-commerce websites and apps for fashion and luxury brands. Within our studio, I mainly focus on user experience, interface design and on the technical aspect of the work.

Artistic Background

Kim, can you tell us about your background?

KB: My dad is a computer engineer, and teaches subjects related to informatics and robotics 3 at CentraleSupélec, 4 so I was lucky enough to have a computer connected to the internet from the age of ten in the late nineties. It was pretty early compared to other families, and I got addicted to it pretty quickly. I used to make stuff on Photoshop and put my work online on DeviantArt. 5 After some time, I self-taught myself web development through some HTML and CSS 6 online tutorials, which led me to create my own blog at the age of fifteen. I was changing the design of it every month – I loved working on it.

Having parents who were open-minded about new technologies definitely nurtured what I do, but as my dad is an engineer 7 and my mum a doctor, I had to specialise in sciences during high school. 8 It was thanks to my sister who brought me to an open day for art schools that I realised that it was possible to make a living out of website designing. That’s how I eventually ended up studying visual communications, specialised in multimedia design, at Olivier de Serres. 9 I then studied Digital Interface Design at Gobelins. 10 The Master’s degree was an apprenticeship, so I was working part-time at Blondie, a digital agency 11 at which I mainly worked for Parisian luxury brands such as Chanel, Hermès and Carven. I worked there for a year as a Digital Art Director and then got an offer to join Kenzo in their Art Department team, which was a dream job for me!

What about you, David?

DB: I started by studying applied arts pretty early, during high school. I then studied visual communications at Olivier de Serres, which is where I met Kim, but I left after a year because I couldn't get along with their advertising approach to graphic design. At that time, I was really into films and I had just found out that Neill Blomkamp, who directed District 9, came from a very technical background in visual effects, 12 so I thought: “Why not try to take a similar path? I’m going to do 3D design, visual effects and learn about storytelling.”

That’s how I ended up doing 3D design in Valenciennes in the North of France. Studying there was weird though, because everyone was a Pixar 13 fan, whereas I had this
design background, so I was getting inspired instead by product design, furniture design, architecture and fashion. For example, I chose to make my second year project, SUPERDREAMER, with low poly objects. 14 My coursemates thought it was badly produced, and were convinced that I just made it to seek attention, but I was genuinely interested in that aesthetic.

After graduating, I came back to Paris where I worked for visual effects companies. I was able to realise that I really didn’t want to keep on doing that kind of job. I didn’t find it artistic at all, it was just purely technical. My workplace back then felt like being in an anthill – everyone doing the same thing and working overtime, which is hard when you don’t have passion for what you do. In my spare time, I was getting more and more curious about real-time rendering 15 and how it started to be embedded within internet browsers. And right at that moment, Kim asked me to work with her as a freelancer for Kenzo in 2013.

When did you start working together?

DB: We actually started to work together ages ago. It started with a casual set-up shortly after we met at Olivier de Serres. We were both extremely frustrated with our studies. I had been kicked out of school and I was working at a bar instead. During that time, we often talked about projects we could do together and I took them super seriously as I didn’t feel able to do anything creative at school.

KB: I also stopped going to school at one point. The difference between what we expected before getting in and what we actually experienced was overwhelming, especially because we both worked so hard to get into that school, as it is quite selective. Luckily, David already had this incredible knowledge of design and he fed me with that – talking with him was so much more inspiring than going to school. As a result, we worked on my school project together and all of a sudden, I became an excellent student, which really surprised my teachers. I was still however not going to school because I felt like I was learning much more by speaking with David.

Becoming DVTK

How did your collaborative work become more official?

KB: When we were working together as students, we had all these projects together – interface design, book design and so on, so we did a website where we put all of our work together under the name DVDTKM, which stands for ‘DAVID ET KIM’, without the vowels. 16 After a few projects we worked on for Kenzo, we realised that our work was moving towards a professional direction. It felt at the time like our collaboration was being celebrated, as both Kenzo and the press were praising our work.

DB: To me, when I look back, it feels more like I asked Kim to make it more serious in a really forced way – a bit like a professional proposal *laughs*. I still remember very clearly how it all happened. I was speaking to a close friend at a time when I felt quite lost as a freelance 3D designer, and asked him what I should do. He then replied by asking me back “What’s the most obvious choice to you?” What immediately came to my mind was working with Kim, because that’s what I enjoyed the most, so I went to ask her to form a studio together.

Was it hard to convince Kim?

KB: It did take quite a lot of time. It was always a bit of a dream for me to be working for Kenzo because it was the only brand I genuinely loved, so I ended up staying there for a bit less than two years. I don’t regret taking my time at all though, because I knew that what I was doing at Kenzo would feed back into our work as DVTK. It’s not like I was trying to be calculating, but I was aware that Kenzo was the only contact that we would have to begin with. Funny anecdote: back then, I was involved in a massive project which involved revamping their website, and I actually quit Kenzo the day after we launched it!

DB: She did take a long time to leave Kenzo. I remember asking her every month “You’re gonna quit in a month, right?”, and then she would tell me a month later “I really need to stay six months more.” *laughs*

Foundations & Influences

You often describe your goal at DVTK as “Make the Internet a Happy Place.” Where does that come from?

KB: That’s what’s in our guts I guess. When we started aiming towards that, we did it without really questioning ourselves since we didn’t even have a structure to showcase our work. It was more like, let’s do that just because it feels good. We loved thinking of concepts and sharing them with our friends. We just wanted to make these simple, silly ideas real. 17
At some point, after growing a bit, many people started to tell us how our work did not look like anyone else’s and, thinking about it, we sort of agreed. The internet is full of websites using similar templates which is totally understandable since using them costs much less than doing something bespoke. However, we think it's a shame as this has impoverished the digital design field. 18 Essentially, we want to challenge that by creating enjoyment and playfulness through the experiences we design.

DB: Personally speaking, in this challenge, I’m always reminded of the Memphis Group 19 – which I massively respect – when it was reacting to Bauhaus. 20 It’s extremely likely that, in the future, with AR and VR, 21 we are going to live in a very digital environment, and I really want us to design digital environments that are enjoyable and fun. That’s actually something I was already trying to achieve when I made SUPERDREAMER 22 and I definitely want to achieve this through DVTK too. If you show colours, people are happy. If you show the sun, people are happy. So why not make playful, funny and interactive websites which will make people happy? Having said that, we aren’t actually sure if we’ll keep “Make the Internet a Happy Place” because the word ‘happy’ isn’t directly linked to ‘enjoyment’ and ‘playfulness’. Happiness is a much more intricate notion.

It seems like even though you have the skills in working with VR and AR to make products which are driven by functionality, you’re deliberately choosing not to go in that direction. Why is that?

KB: I worked on many projects that were very functionality-driven, such as e-commerce websites, before DVTK. I did enjoy it, however there are so many designers out there who are great at it that I didn’t see the point for me to pursue anything in that field. Still, we believe that it’s important to keep in mind the functional side when we work on projects, because in our opinion it’s a balance between functionality and storytelling that creates enjoyment. If you are too functional, there is no enjoyment. If you are too oriented towards storytelling, the project doesn’t serve a design purpose anymore. That’s where we believe the combination between both our backgrounds can become a real strength.

DB: The VR project we did for WAH Nails 23 embodies the balance between these two aspects. It all started with a specific user scenario: the infinite possibilities of the nail art designs were sometimes confusing for the customers. They would find it hard to decide what they wanted during appointments, because they were not able to imagine how the design would actually look like on their nails. We then came up with the VR idea to solve this problem. VR enables us to immerse users in a virtual world where they can try on the designs and switch colours through a playful interface. It feels like a game, but it’s essentially answering a difficulty experienced by customers. On top of that, seeing these cool girls wearing a VR headset being like “oh my god” was really cool. 24

The internet is full of websites with similar templates which is a real shame [...] Essentially, we want to challenge that by creating enjoyment and playfulness through the experiences we design.

Is there anything you take inspiration from to achieve this enjoyment and playfulness in your work?

KB: We often talk about playfulness, which all comes down to feelings and emotions, so we are often inspired by things from different cultures as we have to interpret them through our own feelings, instead of rationally understanding them. We like it when a design object, while being functionally effective, calls on external references when you carefully look at it, e.g. an anthropomorphic front-house like Kazumasa Yamashita's 25 Face House 26 because by merging two worlds that don't necessarily belong together, design, through a meta-language, has the ability to surprise the viewer and change her/his perspective.

DB: We are often inspired by Japanese design 27 in which there are a lot of humorous elements. We are naturally very drawn to it as we feel like we can learn from it and implement these principles into our work. For example, I’ve heard that in Japan, many companies are branded with humanised characters 28 which slightly reminds me of the thinking behind “Make the Internet a Happy Place” – making us feel like Japan could be the right place for us.

Have you ever translated this Japanese influence into a project?

DB: A lot of our work actually includes elements that are tributes to Japanese culture. 29 OKgrl, 30 for example, was heavily inspired by the Nintendo Wii 31 as well as the Super Mario app, 32 which is absolutely amazing – the buttons, the sound design, everything. Nintendo is impressive as they aren’t afraid of taking risks, and always rethink how people enjoy playing – even though they sometimes fail. For this reason, I feel much closer to Nintendo than to Sony – Nintendo focuses on making things enjoyable while Sony focuses on the technical competition. 33

DVTK’s Future

What are your long-term objectives for DVTK?

DB: As we grow, we have opportunities to get in contact with more clients and to begin more projects, but we also knew since the beginning that we didn’t want to become a basic agency making basic websites. That’s why, recently, while looking at all the post-its on our wall, we asked ourselves: “What should be our focal point?” In short, we came up with a dream which is to become famous designers, similar to Charles and Ray Eames. 34 We really admire how diverse their projects are – interior architecture, product design, furniture design, like that chair for Herman Miller, 35 exhibition design which they did for the World’s Fair, 36 and even short films like their project with IBM. 37

KB: They really did work on many different things during their career, but what we take from these inspirational figures is to have a strong vision. We believe that as long as you have that vision, like the Eames couple did, it enables you to work within any field, with any medium and with anyone. Our vision might not be that defined yet, but we aspire to find one through our work.

Are you already trying to change your practice based on this “dream”?

KB: We’ve recently been collaborating with many people, and it’s starting to become the core of how we work. We put together people with other skills such as 3D developers or front-end developers, art directors or photographers, depending on the project. It’s really about being honest with what we are able to do and what we are good at. That’s one of the reasons why we moved to London, we felt a bit lonely in Paris.
We are actually planning to change our name to Kim&David so that it's clearer for everyone that we are two designers and not an agency. We’re really hoping it will help us to focus on refining our vision – which hopefully will become even more radical and strong.

DB: We are really excited about this but one of the obstacles is that we are kind of control freaks. We always want to understand what we do, which sometimes can be a burden as you need to let go a bit when working with different collaborators. That’s why we aim to do more work as creative directors, which would let us step back a bit and apply a more vision-led approach.

We’ve recently been collaborating with many people, and it’s starting to become the core of how we work. [...] It’s really about being honest with what we are able to do and what we are good at.

Lastly, in terms of projects, DVTK often works with clients from the fashion world. Are there any other industries you would like to delve into?

KB: We of course care about fashion because it has to do with design, which reflects what’s happening in our world. But, as we just explained, our vision for design is far more open-ended. Our relationship with fashion brands is actually just a consequence of my previous job at Kenzo, and we aim to become less dependent on them to avoid being siloed in the fashion industry. Right now, we would absolutely love to work with eSports. 38 Similarly to the fashion industry, the eSports industry is a fairly closed market so it will be hard for them to let us in. Having said that, eSports is becoming so big that it seems like they need to appeal to wider audiences. eSports teams are basically becoming brands at the moment, so we hope to get some opportunities to work with them.

DB: eSports players are kind of stars for their audience. We would love to help ‘star-ify’ them with, for example, a website where you could visualise the different players, customise their clothes, and see their skills, a bit like in PES! 39 We actually have a friend who works in an eSports team called Fnatic in London so we’re hoping to make it happen. 40

  1. DVTK used to be based at Studio Three, a co-working space for artists, designers and photographers in East London. The studio is still used by other impressive digital designers such as Marc Kremers from Future Corp, Thomas Traum and Jake Dow-Smith. The studio is within a building that’s also home to Merci Marie, an amazing French restaurant that you should definitely check out!
  2. David is referring to the process of producing visual effects using computer-generated imagery.
  3. Simply put, informatics is the science of information and computer information systems. Robotics involves the design, construction, operation and use of robots as well as the computer systems which control them.
  4. Commonly known as Centrale, CentraleSupélec is one of the most prestigious engineering schools in France. Alumni include Gustave Eiffel, who designed the Eiffel Tower.
  5. DeviantArt is a website launched in 2000 where users can display their artwork. Back in 2011, it was the largest online community in the world.
  6. HTML and CSS are programming languages extensively used for website design. In simple terms, HTML is used for the content of a webpage and its corresponding CSS code defines the look and layout of content.
  7. Kim mentioned that she also had the opportunity to work with her dad on an installation for Kenzo at the 2014 International Festival of Fashion and Photography in Hyères, the year that Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, Kenzo’s co-creative directors since 2012, presided over the fashion jury.
  8. The French high school system requires students to choose from three ‘streams’ in their final two years, in preparation for the French Baccalaureate: sciences, economics and social sciences, and literature. Kim felt pressured by her parents to choose the scientific path, focusing on mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology. Random fact: in France, whichever ‘stream’ you choose, students are required to take philosophy for their last two years of high school.
  9. The École nationale supérieure des arts appliqués et des métiers d'art is an art and design school. It’s called Olivier de Serres for short, after the street you can find it on in the 15th arrondissement of Paris.
  10. Gobelins is a school in Paris which offers classes within the field of visual arts. Historically, it’s best known for its photography and animation departments, though it has recently developed a multimedia branch, responding to the digitisation of our everyday lives and environment.
  11. Blondie is a creative agency working mainly on digital projects with clients from the fashion and luxury industries. Founded in 2010, they currently have offices in Paris, Shanghai and Milan.
  12. Neill Blomkamp is a South African-Canadian film director, producer, screenwriter and animator.
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    As David mentioned, Blomkamp began his film career as a 3D animator, working on Stargate SG-1 and Mercy Point. After directing a few short films in the early 2000s, in 2009, ten years after starting as an animator, he finally released his first feature film, District 9 (trailer below), which he co-wrote with his wife.
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    The film was critically acclaimed and received four Academy Award nominations. District 9 explores themes of humanity, xenophobia and racial segregation – very relevant to South Africa’s history – by telling the story of aliens trying to escape from an internment camp. The name of the movie is inspired by the forced removal of 60,000 black residents from an area called District Six in Cape Town during the apartheid regime.
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  13. Pixar, part of the Walt Disney Company, is an American computer animation film studio that’s behind a large number of world-famous films, including Toy Story, The Incredibles and WALL-E.
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    See below for a short documentary about John Lasseter, current chief creative officer of Pixar Animation Studios, who’s known to be one of the pioneers of animation film.
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  14. Watch SUPERDREAMER below. David’s work was acclaimed by the media – not only did Vimeo label it as its famous ‘Staff Pick’, but it was also featured on the Creators Project by Vice.
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  15. Real-time rendering refers to the creation of computer graphics so fast that they let the viewer interact with a virtual environment. Video games and virtual reality are good examples of digital environments enabled by real-time rendering.
  16. See below for an old self-promotional video they made when they had just moved to London:
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  17. One of these “silly ideas” is the 404 response page (below) that DVTK designed and developed for Fornasetti. Kim explained: “We had so many ideas for that project. At some point, there was a balloon and we thought it’d be funny to have a fart sound when you smash it, so David spent a day looking for the perfect fart sound. Once he found it, we tested it and it was actually so disgusting that we didn’t even suggest using it” *laughs*
  18. There are websites that are known for collecting and showcasing what they consider the best website designs, such as siteinspire. While some designs are extremely interesting, it’s also true that, as Kim mentioned, many start to look similar because of the use of templates.
  19. The Memphis Group was a movement founded by the Italian architect and designer Ettore Sottsass in 1981, which gathered a diverse range of designers of many different nationalities.
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    Influenced by Art Deco and Pop Art, it disrupted the minimalism of previous movements in art such as Bauhaus by introducing humorous elements into design, using colourful decoration and asymmetrical shapes.
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  20. Bauhaus, while most often recognised as an important twentieth-century art movement, was first and foremost a German school for art and design, operational from 1919 to 1933 first in Weimar, Dessau (pictured below) and then Berlin. The school combined crafts and the fine arts, and was famous for its approach to design, which would have an impressive influence on a wide range of practices including architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design and typography. The Bauhaus School went international following the exile of most of its members when the Nazi regime came to power in Germany, with its influence extending to Western Europe, the United States and Canada as well as Israel, where Tel Aviv’s White City is home to more than 4000 Bauhaus-style buildings. In 2003, UNESCO named Tel Aviv a World Heritage Site for its treasure trove of modern architecture.
    bauhaus-97c3ab3576da9be778caa1c49492f51b
  21. AR and VR refer to augmented reality and virtual reality. While AR combines a real-world environment with computer-generated content, VR completely replaces the real world with a simulated one.
  22. See the 14th footnote to find out more about SUPERDREAMER.
  23. WAH Nails is a London nail salon founded by Sharmadean Reid.
    wahnails-8f676d49ce8843bd32a8c80f8cbe9400
    The brand originated as a hip hop magazine for girls, started up by Reid while studying Fashion Communications at Central Saint Martins in 2006. After her graduation, she worked as a consultant for Nike and Asos, and, although she was working full-time, she found the time to open her first salon in East London in 2009. After some impressive growth, she dedicated herself to the project full-time and in late 2016 opened her current salon in Soho. Reid also founded Future Girl Corp, a structure which aims to “support the next generation of future female CEOs and business leaders” through workshops and other events. If you’d like to know more about the story behind her impressive career, watch her lecture from a Future Girl Corp event below.
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  24. Watch here an example of “a cool girl being like “oh my god”” You can also have a ‘non-VR’ taste of the WAH Nails experience by watching the video below.
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  25. Kazumasa Yamashita is a Japanese architect born in 1937. An architecture graduate from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in 1976 he was awarded a prize from the Architectural Institute of Japan for designing a store and office complex called From-1st Bldg located in Minamiaoyama, Tokyo.
    kazumasayamashita-3e4a64151f1f97f5e95fa82b84a21374
    Funny story: when Yamashita was commissioned to design a police station, he presented the draft with a marking pin on the roof, left as a placeholder to remind himself to finish some things off. Due to a misunderstanding, the pin was considered part of the final version, and was built into the police station as you can see below. Yamashita is, on a slightly different note, an avid map collector, and he donated part of his collection to the Gifu Prefectural Library, where it is treasured.
    koban-b7c05f972cd34b2de5a1d0bef6c6c573
  26. The Face House (1974) is Yamashita’s most iconic building, located in Kyoto. Today, it’s home to a shop and creative studio called OOO. Yamashita has explained that he found it hard to find a ‘function’ for the nose, which was eventually used to let a shaft of light into the building. Read more on The Architectural Review if you are curious about the Face House.
    facehouse-86fdcde70c9ec4209a68d2064cfaf7e5
  27. David and Kim later mentioned Popteen and Popeye magazines as some of their many inspirations from Japan. Popteen (see the cover for the May 2017 issue below) is a monthly teenage fashion magazine for girls, and extremely popular in Japan.
    popteen-ee857704fda0e2e1a77b861df29953ce
    Being a Popteen covergirl is considered to be a milestone for celebrities – singer Ayumi Hamazaki and model Kumiko Hanayama have both had this honour a record number of nineteen times. Popeye (see the cover for the October 2015 issue below), which Kim first saw at the Goodhood store in East London, is an iconic title for men’s fashion in Japan, along with MEN’S NON-NO. Labelled as a “Magazine for City Boys” since its first publication in 1976, it is well respected internationally – for example, Tyler Brûlé, editor-in-chief of Monocle, often cites Popeye as an inspiration. See here for an article by Monocle on Popeye’s publisher, Magazine House.
    popeye-5c44abc03ad878e7b20a19a058a7631e
  28. ‘Humanising’ organisations by using characters and mascots is a very common practice in Japan, known as yuru-chara. It’s so common, in fact, that even local governments have their own mascots, and some of them, such as Kumamon and Funassyi (pictured below), yuru-chara for the Kumamoto Prefecture and the city of Funabashi respectively, have gained international popularity, with Kumamon generating an estimated $1.2 billion from 2012 to 2014.
    kumamonfunnasyi-ae33e6acf9d2b8e89f7c4790015347c8
    Dentsu, one of the world’s biggest advertising agencies, even has a department for ‘Character Consulting’ which specialises in developing or rebranding characters for their clients – maybe not such a crazy idea considering that, according to the Character Data Bank, a research firm that studies the character business, mascot-driven sales amounted to nearly $16 billion in Japan in 2012. This clip from John Oliver in Last Week Tonight sums up really well the popularity of these mascots in Japan:
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  29. While not strictly a Japanese export, DVTK paid tribute to the video game The Sims when designing OKgrl, as you can see from this Instagram post.
  30. OKgrl is an “interactive fashion and music platform for a digital generation”, founded by fashion stylist Louby McLoughlin. The online platform, now in its second edition and directed by DVTK, stems from McLoughlin’s desire to create a space for “the younger generation of fashion and music fans to have a place that felt like their own”, according to an interview on The 405. OKgrl is known for featuring emerging pop singers such as LIZ, Hannah Diamond, GIRLI or previous Us Blah + Me Blah interviewee Sarah Midori Perry from Kero Kero Bonito.
    okgrl-2aa115bcc7f49cbc94ddfdb573d2cf98
  31. See here for a screenshot of OKgrl2 to see how inspired DVTK were by the Nintendo Wii.
  32. David is referring to Super Mario Run, the Nintendo game released in December 2016 on iOS and in March 2017 on Android. It was one of the first games developed for mobile devices released by Nintendo, and looks like any classic Mario game developed in the past, except that the way the player controls Mario is very different – in the mobile version, Mario is running constantly, and the player just has to tap to make Mario jump over obstacles.
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  33. What David is describing here is actually a design philosophy called Lateral Thinking with Withered Technology that was developed by Gunpei Yokoi (pictured below), one of the pioneers of Nintendo’s success story. Kareta gijutsu or “withered technology” refers to a technology that is mature, i.e. its advantages and disadvantages are fully understood, while suihei shikō” refers to the strategy of lateral thinking, or tackling things with new approaches instead of sticking to an existing belief. In other words, Yokoi believed that cutting edge technology was not necessary in designing successful game consoles – indeed, this is the philosophy behind his two most famous creations, the Game & Watch and the Game Boy. More recently, Nintendo’s Wii beat out the competition by redefining ‘playfulness’ with the use of motion-based controls, instead of improving the internal technology from its predecessor, the GameCube. In this way, Nintendo secured impressive profits by not only widening out its audience to younger and older generations but also by keeping its production costs very low. Indeed, according to an article by Engadget, it cost $160 to manufacture a Wii while a Playstation 3 (20GB) cost $800.
    gunpeiyokoi-7db089050df534b7cee0084995e5c5e8
  34. Charles (1907–1978) and Ray Eames (1912–1988) were American designers who made a huge impact to the world of architecture and design.
    eames-fbaa78e7789fa4011e411c1ded02577b
    They met while studying at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, and while architects by discipline – their home and studio in California, the Eames House (pictured below), is their most notable building – they have also worked on films, furniture and exhibition design.
    eameshouse-bf8f6a1400886dc00eb1edfd313690d9
    Watch the TED talk below given by the Eames couple’s grandson, Eames Demetrios, to learn more.
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  35. Charles and Ray Eames designed a number of chairs for Herman Miller, an American manufacturer of office and home furniture. Along with the Eames Fiberglass Armchair, the Eames Lounge Chair (pictured below), now exhibited as part of the MoMA’s permanent collection in New York, is one of the most famous products of this collaboration.
    eameschair-5662e4f4ffc784bf0a9ceb99cb485bbd
    Made of moulded plywood and leather and first released in 1956, it is the first chair the couple designed for the high-end market and is still available to buy here from Herman Miller, for $4960 as of April 2017. See below for a video of the Eames couple revealing the Eames Lounge Chair on NBC in 1956.
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  36. The 1964 New York World’s Fair played a major role in showcasing American culture and technology, exhibiting a wide range of US-manufactured products from transportation to consumer electronic goods. As well as the different national pavilions, fairgoers could visit industrial pavilions by companies such as General Electric, Ford and General Motors. The Eames couple contributed to the IBM pavilion, and they were responsible not only for the exhibition design but also for the graphics, signage, and films on show. To get a sense of the experience, see below for a film made by the couple, showing what they did for the IBM pavilion.
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  37. Charles and Ray Eames often worked with IBM, and Ray even worked as a consultant for the firm late in her life. A popular film that the couple worked on is the IBM Mathematics Peep Show. Released in 1961, it consisted of a series of short films that explained mathematical theories in very simple terms. Watch the one on functions below:
    Play
  38. eSports refers to multiplayer video game competitions, most commonly on real-time strategy or first-person shooting video games. In South Korea, where the industry is most successful, big events are not only broadcast online or on TV, but fans even attend eSports events in person – so basically, watching people playing a video game live. While it’s still an emerging movement mainly led by South Korea, other markets in the United States, Europe and China are becoming increasingly prominent, while eSports development in Japan has been curtailed by extremely strict gambling laws there. VICE made a documentary in mid-2015 (see below) focusing on the millions of dollars that can be won by the most successful eSports players.
    Play
  39. PES is short for Pro Evolution Soccer, a series of football video games published by Konami. The first PES game was released in 2001, and the sixteenth release was Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 in September 2016. David is referring to how, in PES, each football player is rated for their skills, as you can see from the screenshot below. In Japan, the game is called Winning Eleven.
    pesratings-35c21d38e2c7d94d2cff3b88e150f8ef
  40. Fnatic is a professional eSports team based in London, founded in 2004. While during the interview, DVTK’s project with Fnatic wasn’t yet confirmed, things have progressed since the interview – you can find the collaboration here.

This interview was posted on 15 August 2017 and was originally conducted in a mix of English and French.

Interview (Us Blah) & Footnotes (Me Blah):
Tsukasa Tanimoto

Copy-editing (English):
Kate Reiners and Madeleine Hahn de Bykhovetz

Translation (English to Japanese):
Sayaka Yamada

Special Thanks to Madeleine Hahn de Bykhovetz, Anh Boutin, Céline Bodin and Sidonie Boiron.