“Design creates emotion. Emotions become memories. From memories come ideas, ideas return to design – I believe that design and memory are in a single cycle, and that each is the same energy in a different state.“ This is how Akira Minagawa describes the core idea, the circular flow, related to the forthcoming exhibition Design = Memory that will be shown at Nationalmuseum from February 2024 onwards.
Akira Minagawa is one of the most prominent Japanese designers and the founder and lead designer of fashion and textile brand Minä perhonen. Minä means I in Finnish, and perhonen means butterfly.
The company started in 1995 as a one-man operation but grew gradually into the team of 200. The sphere of Minä perhonen’s creative activities has expanded from fashion to home décor, tableware, and eventually, to all aspects of daily life. Minä perhonen has a long track record of international design collaborations with companies such as Artek, Kvadrat and Iittala as examples, and in Sweden with Klippan.
The exhibition will explore Akira Minagawa’s and Minä perhonen’s design philosophy from the first ideas to the final products and even beyond: the experiences and memories of the users of the garments and design objects play an important role. Akira Minagawa likes to discuss together with his team how design can – and should – increase happiness in our daily lives. Good designs also ages with grace.
Minä perhonen textiles, clothes, design objects, as well as Akira Minagawa’s original artworks are all in a circular dialogue showcasing the creative process. The exhibition also reminds how the Nordic countries and Nordic design have always played a key role for Akira Minagawa. Even a wall painting will be created in the exhibition space and the latest example is collaboration with Ingegerd Råman will be presented for the first time to the audience.
Minä perhonen, “forest parade” from autumn- winter collection 2018-2019. Model: Miyuki Emond. Photo: Mistuo Okamoto.
Print textile “swing”. Photo: sono.
Embroidery textile “tambourine”. Photo: Hua Wang.
Pile jacquard textile “fogland”. Photo: Hua Wang.
Minä perhonen, “rain track” from spring- summer collection 2019. Model: Aoi Yamada. Photo: Yayoi Arimoto.