The brief

It was almost a project without a brief. The agreement was simply to help one of Nikon’s rising star designers, Hiroki Hosaka, consider the future of photography. We were being asked to expose him to new ways and processes, visions and ideas. Nikon recognised it was a critical time for their industry and their business. Keeping on top of the cultural and technological changes that were transforming the global market could not be achieved from the boardroom in Tokyo. Nikon had approached tangerine because we had a reputation for creativity in one of the most creative and diverse cities in the world. So it was that Hiroki arrived at our offices in London.

Key insights

Our approach was what we call ‘Design Immersion’. A first step was to guide the young Japanese designer through the amazing cultural mix of 21st century London, literally wandering around the UK capital, soaking up the diversity and vitality of the city. “London, with all its different nationalities, was a power source of creativity,” Hiroki told us.

The tangerine team also escorted him on a whistle-stop European tour they described as a ‘culture hunt’. Visiting six countries in two weeks, the idea was to demonstrate the cultural variation across the target market. Two of tangerine’s creatives, one British and one Japanese, took Hiroki under their wing. He attended a series of workshops, visits and seminars that forced him, he says, to reconsider his ideas about design, creativity, even his way of thinking.


The solution

Our design immersion approach unlocked insights in the way consumers use cameras in different cultural settings, key intelligence for the future of the global photography market that Hiroki presented to executives at Nikon’s headquarters in Tokyo. He outlined a range of innovative ideas tangerine had developed for cameras of the future, stressing how a purely technology-based business strategy risked missing the point. Listening to European students explain how they didn’t want to own a camera but loved to experiment with the camera function on their smart-phone opened his eyes to the challenges and opportunities for his company.


The design story

The client says:

“Thanks to the project with tangerine, I began to look at things and think about ideas in a completely different way,” Hiroki Hosaka says. “I got an incredibly positive response from our Chief Executive. He said it was absolutely fascinating, and I am sure my experiences with tangerine in London will have an enormous impact and inspiration on the future products and success of the Nikon Corporation.”

Hiroki Hosaka, UI Designer, Nikon Corporation

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