Global design. Local authenticity.

Global design. Local authenticity.

The mega-globalized world requires much more energy and attention than previous form of societies. Many studies showed the good and the bad aspects of globalization. Here I will treat one of its most amazing advantage for creative-oriented people, designers.

In an super-connected world, communications and exchanges go to the next level of sharing, changing our perspective on the world that surround us–even radically sometimes. That is the result of the cooperation in the design and creative industries.

This cooperation is not new to the creative milieu. It had inspired creative minds for centuries, more and more in the past centuries and decades. Just think of the scientists group of via Panisperna; or of the active and creative productive environment of Paris in the 30ties. In a small section of Paris, mainly around the rive gauche close to Saint Germain, the great painters and writers of the XX century shaped our cultural contemporary. They did not have Facebook, they did not have google. Imagine nowadays, when travelling, communicating and sharing has become much easier. Beauty and creation made their room into the everyday life.

Design is not unfamiliar with what is happening in our surroundings. The example of the brilliant Japanese-born and Danish-acquired design firm Arhoj ( is outstanding. The studio, founded by Arhoj, was first based in Tokyo and moved lately to Copenhagen. It has a small range of products to offer, but all of them reassemble the union between the traditional Japanese pottery and the Danish’s value for organic design and shapes. Nevertheless, the Japanese’ s attention for the details, originate by its great arts and crafts, mixed with the colours of Denmark and North Europe, give birth to an extraordinary set of products.

By using global trends, the Danish design has already given us an example of ‘globalized’ creativity. I already described on a previous article the brilliant use of local materials or the use of waste as possible raw material, by the Danish young designer Jonas Edvard ( So again, Denmark is not new to the integration of global trends and new way of doing design.

Multi-international design firms can boost their creativity by getting advantages from the multi-cultural context in which they find themselves. This is because putting together the best part of different cultures result in a new design approach. The one that we can call “globalized design”.

Indeed if we look at Kuramoto’s website (, it is easy to recognize the same simplicity of Arhoj’s works. Nevertheless, they differ a lot. In fact, the former is the best example of current Japanese design. It explicates the use of different materials typologies in the same object, stressing the ordinary to make it extraordinary (see the cutting board). The latter has more attention on the techniques and the traditional arts&crafts. Although they come from the same background, they have different nuances and different languages of design. Arhoj being an example as what we have called “globalized design”.


Design collaboration or mixed and influenced trends will be the norm in a couple of year. This is clearly described in  Arhoj website ( Their aim to maintain the specific characterizations of each cultures by combining them into a new form of language, is definitely difficult to achieve but not impossible.

The new formation that most of us as designers, and not only, have nowadays can clarify and strengthen the process. More and more designer are getting education both in their mother country and abroad. In addition, they also get different specialization and inputs. This new dimension of design-connectivity can easily communicate with visuals and “the making” as common language.

A new figure of designer as translators of global trends and different cultures has just born. There will be more cases like Arhoi in the future and you can be one of them.

Yves Saint Laurent caused huge scandal when he used Mondrian’s paintings on one of his dress. And it made him famous worldwide. He could merge successfully the Parisian, French eye for haute couture and the Dutch pure and rational paintings– without even google it. Just imagine what you can do next.