Interview with 2023 NXT-GEN Winner Yun Zhu

Interview with 2023 NXT-GEN Winner Yun Zhu

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We speak to Yun Zhu from Kuwasawa Design School, winner of the 2023 NXT-GEN Award, to learn more about his award-winning work.

We speak to Yun Zhu from Kuwasawa Design School, winner of the 2023 NXT-GEN Award, to learn more about his award-winning work and plans for the future.

Can you tell us something about yourself? 

I graduated from an art university in China. After working in advertising agency as a designer for several years, I developed a strong interest in Japan package design and container design. Consequently, I came to Tokyo to study related knowledges.

Congratulations on winning the 2023 NXT-GEN Award! How did it make you feel?

It’ s the first time our university won this award and I can’ t be more honoured.

My experience is achieving a high level of completeness as possible as you can and improving quality in details.

Yun Zhu collecting the NXT-GEN Award at the 2023 Pentawards Gala Ceremony

Can you tell us about Kuwasawa Design School and its contribution to students in design?

Kuwasawa Design School is a well-known design school in Japan, established in 1954. You can find a lot of great designers in various design fields in Japan who graduated from this school. Muety is a graduation work from a package design seminar.

In recent years, it has also begun nurturing international students who wish to develop a design career in Japan.

Kuwasawa Design School in Tokyo, Japan

Can you tell us a bit about the winning pack?

The theme of this skincare product is vitality beauty. 

Personally, I like mushrooms since I was a child, I always feel that their curves are so unique, random and full of vitality.

I learned gradually that mushrooms can be used in the fields of beauty, skincare and environmental protection. So I developed a skincare product that contains ingredients of mushrooms as a main selling point and named it “Muety” (mushroom + beauty) as the brand name. The color was designed in a white gradient design, showing clean and transparent feeling.

I hope that through the most direct language, people can recognize quickly the selling points of this product.  The challenge now is how to create a original design beyond limited that can also be produced.

Which part of creating the pack did you love the most?

What I enjoyed the most was the process of creating handmade samples.

My professor taught me a very traditional process of producing cosmetic container samples, and so many ideas and improvements came from this production process.

Are you currently working on any exciting new projects?

Recently, I have been working on personal works for an exhibition by the Japan Package Design Association. They will be exhibiting in Kyoto and Tokyo soon.

You will now be looked at for inspiration. What is your message to young designers or students who are entering the design world?

Find and focus on the ideas you believe, and try to create beyond limits as much as possible. Be patient and curious.

What does the power of design mean to you?

Be Better.

Find out more about Yun Zhu on Instagram or via his linkedin, and enter this year's competition for a chance to be a 2024 Award winner!