As objects placed in indoor spaces, room air conditioners do not date back as far in time as furniture and lighting. I believe that the way it should be is going to take shape in the future. I find challenges in the possibilities of creating such new value and culture, which is why I am engaged in the design of air conditioners.
Traditional development of air conditioners pursued functionality, which often resulted in larger, heftier profiles. Having said that, prioritizing the appearance at the expense of functionality is not the approach to win customers' preference. There are still requirements for an air-conditioning system to meet, such as having a nice-looking frame that is not so wide that makes the air conditioner uninstallable as well as having enough power to adjust the temperature of larger rooms.
Catering to users' requests from two points of view: interior design and living comfort
An air conditioner with a lighter design and loved by people as interior decor, yet uncompromising on air-conditioning performance―delivering comfortable air―such were the concepts I focused on when developing the room air conditioner "risora."
The "risora" offers added energy savings despite its low profile, not to mention greater comfort. Its width just shy of 90 cm, which is an easy fit in Japanese living environments, gives it increased installation flexibility. What I took the most care with here was to revisit what an air-conditioner means in totality from the perspectives of interior design and people's living comfort. I believe that through such efforts, "risora" was made into a product that can be delivered to any user with a keen eye for interior design.
Leveraging experience with mechanical engineering in product design
After majoring in mechanical engineering in graduate school, I further studied design and joined Daikin Industries, Ltd. Taking "risora" for example, I was able to make in-depth suggestions on the design to engineers and make a working prototype for preliminary proposals. Having skills and perspectives in addition to those related to design has helped in working at Daikin Industries, Ltd. The Advanced Design Group now hosts an increasing number of members with varied specialties, and I hope we become a group that creates new value from diverse viewpoints.
The future image of air conditioners as an element of interior design
Room air conditioners have been in demand for indoor spaces, but also have somewhat been perceived as being intrusive. I want to start up a "value transformation" where air conditioners can be products that offer comfort to the air and atmosphere as a part of interior design. Similar to picking out furniture and building materials for a new living space, I want to cause a major upgrade of air conditioners, from air conditioners as an home appliance to a part of an "existence that helps people envision their ideal lifestyle" by expanding their imagination.
I have seen various types of architecture, both new and old, in the East and West, which inspire me to different ways of thinking about human environments. Housing exists all over the world in a variety of cultures and climates and is shaped by both. Modern-day household air conditioners are primarily equipped with only the functions necessary to adjust temperature and humidity inside rooms. However, a room is also filled with lights and sounds brought in from its surroundings. I sense product design possibilities in the research of "cool lights" and "warm sounds" and such that people living in different environments may experience.
Creating ample air and space at a totally different level by combining temperature, humidity, sound, light, and color using optimal conditions and comprehensively adjusting it― that is the image of a future air conditioner that I am aiming for.