.

Most design schools are now about business, not education. The design industry is in flux and the boundaries are disappearing. Anyone can enter the field from any background.

Please give us a brief bio of yourselves.

Kazutoshi SHIRAI:

Interactive Contents Designer, Morning Person, Non-smoker, Two Kids.

Hirohito FUKUTOMI:

Art Director, Night Owl, Smoker, Single.

Hiroshi MASUDA:

Art Director, All-weather Person, Like to watch people's facial expressions.

What do you do for inspiration?

SHIRAI:

I get inspiration from technology and nature.

FUKUTOMI:

Recall my forgotten memories.

MASUDA:

Think slowly.

Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

SHIRAI:

http://www.fladdict.net/app/hatenatube/

FUKUTOMI:

Google Earth

MASUDA:

http://www.showstudio.com/

What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

MASUDA:

Mmm... Getting a job.

SHIRAI:

Getting married and having kids. My view of life changed greatly.

FUKUTOMI:

Getting divorced and becoming free!

What software couldn't you live without?

MASUDA:

Human emotion :)

What projects do you have in the pipeline?

MASUDA:

Sorry that's a trade secret.

Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?

FUKUTOMI:

- Hipgnosis

- PUSH PIN STUDIO

- HERB LUBALIN

What effect on traffic do your new designs have?

MASUDA:

Of course traffic is increasing.

Who is your target audience?

MASUDA:

For the Yamaha Milano Salone site, the target users are people interested in design and people interested in the Milano Salone -- people who actually attended.

At Business Architects we are usually targeting corporate site users.

What area of web design lacks the most?

SHIRAI:

An addictive quality.

FUKUTOMI:

Universal design -- because many people are excluded.

MASUDA:

Theory -- because there is still the possibility that the form will change.

What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?

SHIRAI:

http://www.kazsh.com

MASUDA:

A site that sold death masks. "Make your own death mask" site. It's not around anymore. I didn't make my own death mask even though I would have gotten a discount.

Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?

SHIRAI:

I wrote a Flash how-to book called "Flash Factory," but coding Action Script is much more fun... So I don't think I will write another book :)

What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?

SHIRAI:

Given Flash's limitations (data size, processing speed, etc) it's very difficult to build something that has speed, sound and motion that is enjoyable to the user.

In particular, the rollover interface for DESIGN-YAMAHA took a lot of time to get right.

Please take a look: http://www.yamaha.co.jp/design/

Do you think Flash is here to stay?

SHIRAI:

The form will change, but it will continue to be around.

MASUDA:

I think anything can exist as long as there is a desire for it.

What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?

FUKUTOMI:

Most design schools are now about business, not education.

The design industry is in flux and the boundaries are disappearing. Anyone can enter the field from any background.

When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?

MASUDA:

Just doing good work!

How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?

SHIRAI:

I played with yugop.com a lot and read the Flash 5 manual over and over again. For anyone who wants to start with Flash, just make your own website.

What is the most expensive thing you've bought in the last week?

SHIRAI:

A "Rock Crawling" radio controlled car. Currently they are very popular in Japan. I don't drive the real thing, it's too dangerous.

FUKUTOMI:

Ukulele.

MASUDA:

Photography book of Hiroshi HAMAY

What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?

SHIRAI:

Most Japanese are wearing Yukata. It's very comfortable.

Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

FUKUTOMI:

Bless you!

SHIRAI:

Now Japanese TV and magazine say "natto diet" is very effective, but it's a fraud. Don't believe it. But actually natto is delicious.

#What is natto? check the Wiki

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natto

MASUDA:

No design no life.

It's been a privilege, thanks very much.

SHIRAI:

Ookini.

FUKUTOMI:

Aloha.

MASUDA:

Maido.
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