Since its founding in 2005, Tokyo-based design firm MOMENT has created sleek commercial environments for a wide spectrum of clients, including Issey Miyake, Loft and Estnation, in addition to rich hospitality settings. The team, led by designers Hisaaki Hirawata and Tomohiro Watabe, moves freely between graphic and spatial design, delivering spaces that both mine into a user’s spatial awareness and retain sharp focus on the core of each brand.

Our new book, MOMENT: Redefining the Brand Experience, is a detailed monograph of the firm’s work. Showcasing projects that have helped shape design in Japan today and earned MOMENT the distinction of being a pioneer in its field, the book offers insight into the studio’s versatile and skilful visual approach, meticulous spatial branding strategies and alluring interior lighting design.

‘What we care about when designing is employing a layered style to present information,’ explain Hirawata and Watabe. ‘Our belief is that what seems, at first glance, to end with a question mark will often reveal itself, on closer inspection, as ending with an exclamation mark. The same is true for how the customer’s awareness of an interior expands gradually, eventually encompassing the entirety of the project. This experience becomes highly memorable when repeated time and time again.’

Below, read three case-study excerpts from the book, available for purchase here.


Photo: Nacása & Partners

AND A, 2011 Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Japan

When commissioned to design the interior of this fashion store in Yokohama for the And A chain, MOMENT concentrated on creating a dynamic effect, dividing its rectangular floorplan into two triangular prisms using a diagonal line, and creating a strong contrast between light and dark in these two areas. ‘We made a completely white space on one side, which has an atmosphere that is totally different from the client’s previous understanding of its brand,’ says a spokesperson for MOMENT. ‘In addition, there is another playful design feature – the division between the two triangular spaces is indicated by striking red lines that match the brand’s existing colour palette.’ These run horizontally and vertically through the space, creating intersections, gates and racks.


Photo: Fumio Araki

ISSEY MIYAKE MEN, 2017 Jung-gu, Daegu, South Korea

The process of designing new clothing ranges at Issey Miyake Men starts with the development of threads and the weaving of cloth. MOMENT realised that these fabrics could be used to partition spaces in the manner of shoji, so designed this store in Daegu to resemble a traditional Japanese house, with the clothes themselves acting as the partitions. Its ceiling, however, is designed to resemble a continuous and unusually substantial roof, creating a sense of weight that contrasts with the lightness and texture of the cloth. Among the many Issey Miyake outlets that MOMENT have designed – which tend to emphasise lightness – this example is rare in striving to incorporate a compelling sense of weight.


Photo: Fumio Araki

ROOTH 2-3-3, 2018 Omuta-shi, Fukuoka, Japan

In Japan, an increasing number of architects and designers are asked to design buildings intended to revitalise neighbourhoods. The results are often overdesigned, or divorced from their context, and it is debatable whether they really enhance their surroundings. When accepting such commissions, MOMENT believe that it is crucial to balance the elements of the design, harmonising the interior with its context. This is precisely what they did when asked to design a café, Rooth 2-3-3, by a company involved in revitalisation work in the city of Omuta in Fukuoka. Despite being located alongside railway tracks and a train station in a bleak part of the city – near the abandoned Mitsui Miike Coal Mine – the café quickly became a popular spot.

Get your copy of Moment: Redefining the Brand Experience here.