March 6, 2013

Yakuza, Miss Ko, Paris & restaurant design [GBH]

My Experience With Yakuza:
the story of Miss Ko,
Paris &
Brand story in
Restaurant Design
[GBH]

Yakuza, Miss Ko, Paris & restaurant design [GBH]
[Imagery, below, from Ko]
Brand, patterning, statement, interiors –
the graphical interplay of message, story and imagery.

One trip to Japan, I was in Kyoto, and late night, I got the information from a hotel about a men’s ofuro, a bathhouse — took a cab there; and the driver got lost, we kept driving out and out, farther and farther away from town center –
out into what appeared to be a kind of darkened, industrial area.

Finally, the driver opened the door, in the manner of the driver-controlled doors of Japanese taxis.
He pointed to a non-descript industrial building -
“aré, doozo.”

And “there, please,”
I went.

The entry area was full of shoes — left by guests.
This was relatively early in my efforts in Japan — I was still touring, meeting with possible clients, showing my work, and practicing my early Japanese presentations.
The owners, or gatekeepers of the communal ofuro, seemed shocked that I was there, coming down the entry hallway, I could see them talking to each other;
being gaijin, this was familiar,
I thought, “this is a family ofuro!”
Now that would be terrifying.
A tall white American.

Yakuza, Miss Ko, Paris & restaurant design [GBH]

Now, as I went in, I realized the reason for their surprise. Walking into the bathhouse, the locker area, I realized that I’d entered a Yakuza bathhouse – a male, gangster gathering place.
I was astonished by the beauty and brilliant colour of the tattoos — the place was ablaze with
striking designs, a kind of monstrous beauty, misted with steam.

Yakuza, Miss Ko, Paris & restaurant design [GBH]

YA KU ZA
All, the trademark of
the distinctive,
yet dreaded
yakuza.

These yakuza men, in the bath house were friendly [except for one old guy, who didn't like me much], we spoke Japanese together — and they said,
“you look like you are the son of Shane.”

Shane, an immensely popular American Western,
shot in 1953, [the year I was born.]
The “son” of Shane, would be the young boy,
attracted to the guns of the “gunslinger.”

Yakuza, Miss Ko, Paris & restaurant design [GBH]

To that, a note from friends
at Designboom
offered the striking new design of GBH, London,
and a collaboration with Philippe Starck.

Working in Paris, I’d traveled around to his shows, met his wife/partner, studied Starck-designed restaurants, and, in Tokyo — his buildings, stories, places.
While I failed to sync with Philippe & co., in Paris, it was
at TED and later in NYC, that I reconnected.
The man has an astonishingly vivid imagination
and he carries on a kind of mythically broad design practice.

There’s not much
that he hasn’t touched,
as a designer.

GBH did the branding for Ko, Starck — designed the interiors.

Brand voice states:

“Located in the heart of paris, miss kō is not just a restaurant;
it’s a crazy place where street food, cocktails, art, and music meet to create
a unique culinary experience. inside miss kō it’s the future; a place where cultures collide,
fantasy rules and nothing is what it seems.
it’s like blade runner – only happy.”

Visual storytelling:

Yakuza, Miss Ko, Paris & restaurant design [GBH]
Yakuza, Miss Ko, Paris & restaurant design [GBH]
Yakuza, Miss Ko, Paris & restaurant design [GBH]
Yakuza, Miss Ko, Paris & restaurant design [GBH]
Yakuza, Miss Ko, Paris & restaurant design [GBH]
Yakuza, Miss Ko, Paris & restaurant design [GBH]
Yakuza, Miss Ko, Paris & restaurant design [GBH]
Yakuza, Miss Ko, Paris & restaurant design [GBH]
Yakuza, Miss Ko, Paris & restaurant design [GBH]
Yakuza, Miss Ko, Paris & restaurant design [GBH]
Yakuza, Miss Ko, Paris & restaurant design [GBH]
Yakuza, Miss Ko, Paris & restaurant design [GBH]
Yakuza, Miss Ko, Paris & restaurant design [GBH]
Yakuza, Miss Ko, Paris & restaurant design [GBH]
Yakuza, Miss Ko, Paris & restaurant design [GBH]
Yakuza, Miss Ko, Paris & restaurant design [GBH]

Tim | Girvin Decatur Island Studios

The Strategy of Holism | Restaurant Experience Design
TouchPoints, Storytelling and Guest Engagement

See the Restaurant Point Conference Keynote:
http://bit.ly/PWuvnE

3 Responses to Yakuza, Miss Ko, Paris & restaurant design [GBH]

  1. Beautiful story, incredible branding – wish I would have known about this place while I was still living in Paris.

  2. Bob Mullins says:

    Gorgeous, stunning work. Intelligent Design!

  3. tommy says:

    i swear i had an experience as a school boy in australia i met a japanese women who seemed now when i look back at it almost robotic and non human like? no shit true story i met her a weird hours usually at port phillip pear where the spirit of tasmania docks she lived in a lux appartment there seemed to have plenty of money but was quite tight with funds she couldnt communicate with me but she tattooed and ate dinner off me literally she used a hammer and 10 needles to outline a dragon from my chest its body goes around me and around my legs and arms. i neally died during it and i ended up just getting the outline but to this day when i show people they are shocked at it and a tattooist actually invited me to photograph it he told me that the dragon style on me a person drawing it freehand tibori which is the way they tattoo you would have to be yakuza. i spent months during the end of highschool meeting this girl or women who i tended to shove off..she almost seemed like she was old but was also inrolled in a highschool which she hardly attended it seemed as if she was a robot or somthing? this was the year 2002 and i smoked ice or somthing similar at that apparment and when people now ask me if i tried the drug i tell them in 2001 or 2002 they seemed shocked like it wasnt big in australia then? i never tried drugs since and this is true story for corespondance or anything similar someone message me on my email

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