“Recently I watched an interesting documentary about Japanese food… about Kaiseki, the importance of the seasons, obviously a lot about traditions and about Wagyu cows. Apart from my love for sushi (and Japanese cuisine generally), I also found that much of the philosophy behind the food that they mentioned could also be used to pretty accurately describe some of the ideas behind the coquine![design] approach to our work.”

That is not really surprising though. Not that we suddenly feel very Japanese now, but it’s certainly not the first time we look to the East for inspiration and, let’s say, finding our inner ying & yang! Also, ever since Christian Leyk attended a course about the history of French cuisine in university he realised how closely linked design, art, sociology, politics and philosophy are and how obvious the connections where between historic events and what the people were eating at that moment in time!

But, coming back to the documentary: A man raising cows. A mother packing bento boxes for her children in a tiny kitchen. A chef from Kyoto who discovered his Japanese roots when studying in Europe – the important aspects coming to light in all these example all boiled down to the same principles: Everything has a soul. A cow. A tree. A bowl of noodles. Everything has a story to tell, everything is part of some bigger idea. Every detail matters.

“It also shows that without the appreciation of everything that surrounds us, from the sunshine to the air to the people we encounter to the things we use and touch to the food we eat, we will never find our balance.”

Our aim is to make coquine![design] the best of both worlds. It might look like a DIY approach to philosophy, but we believe that with mixing the calm of the East with the romantic yearning of the West we will be able to bring something unique to design.

  • Date Posted - 3. September 2011
  • Key Words - Opinion