Design Dialogue

Sky Design dialogue will be held on August 31, 2019 at RIVIERA TOKYO SHOWROOM.

Design Dialogue divided into 3 Division:

Design Talk (1) "The Destination of the "Akinai" Design

Design Talk (1) There are a Japanese word “akinai”, which means "business, trade, and commerce." Akinai also sounds like "don't be tired" and "don't lose interest." In Japan, seasoned businessmen will often say that they should be patient because a situation is akinai.

A significant source of power in social system design originates from the distribution mix of participants in design and art planning engagements in each of the countries. 

The design talk of "The Destination of the "Akinai" Design, is all about navigating the complexity of the business comprising design and art industry nowadays on how the CEO manage the recources and keep attracting the highest level of interest and engagement with the global audiences to their venue.

Speaker - William To from PMQ Speaker - Manuel Rabate from Louvre Abu Dhabi
Speaker - Daishi Yoshimoto, from American Insitute of Architect - Japan Chapter

English - Peggy from Merci Media, Editor-in-Chief
English/ Japanese - Mame from Mottomo
Cost: Free, please do your RSVP at the following link

Date: Saturday, August 31, 2019
Venue: RIVIERA Tokyo Showroom タイルの「リビエラ株式会社」
Open Reception: 12 pm
Design Talk: 13:00 pm

Fees: Free

For your RSVP:

More information on the master design Talk (II) and Talk (III) will be upload on August 14, 2019.


William To.jpg

William To

is the Executive Director of PMQ, a creative platform for design entrepreneurs located in the heart of Hong Kong.

Before spearheading one of the most successful redevelopment initiatives in Hong Kong. In 1992, he founded his own agency, Vision Integrated Communications Ltd, and later became a brand consultant, helping clients launch their brands and products in Hong Kong and China. William spent 18 years in the advertising industry in Hong Kong. He joined Hong Kong Design Centre in 2005 and was responsible for their flagship events – Business of Design Week (BODW), Knowledge of Design Week (KODW) and Design for Asia Awards (DFAA 2006-08). Starting from August 2012, William retains his role as a senior consultant to Hong Kong Design Centre.

William joined PMQ in 2012 as Creative and Programme Director and with determined and innovative efforts, where he heads up ambitious and innovative efforts in creating programmes to inspire, connect and collaborate with Hong Kong’s local design community but also initiated and organized programmes that inspire and connect Hong Kong with overseas’ design community.


Manuel Rabate

Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi

Born in March 1976, Manuel Rabaté is a graduate of the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po, 1998), and of HEC Business School (2001). He began his career as a Deputy Director at the auditorium of the Musée du Louvre from 2002 until 2005. He participated among other things in the creation of new programmes on Islamic Arts in the context of the first performance contract concluded between the French government and the museum for its modernisation. He joined the Musée du quai Branly as a Deputy Director of Cultural Development a year before its opening in 2006, and structured the administrative and financial management of many key issues for the opening. After the opening, he led the launching of the first exhibitions abroad including "Masques - Beauté des Esprits" exhibition at the Bahrain National Museum, 2008. Manuel Rabaté joined Agence France-Muséums in 2008, a year after the signing of the intergovernmental agreement between France and the United Arab Emirates marking the birth of the Louvre Abu Dhabi project. Subsequently, he has followed the project from its conceptual phase until its operational implementation as a Secretary General and the acting CEO since 2010. He was appointed CEO of Agence France-Museums in 2013 under the proposal of the Board of Directors and its Chairman, Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière, to set up in Abu Dhabi a multidisciplinary team of museum professionals and follow through the phases of the project realization in collaboration with the major French museums and their UAE partners.

In September 2016, Manuel Rabaté was appointed Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi). Aside from his duties in the service of museums, Manuel Rabaté has also chaired the reflection group-Culture & Management, in which he had created the museum department. He has also taught Arts and Cultural Management at various universities in France and Abu Dhabi (Paris-Dauphine University, Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi since the establishment of the Master in "History of Art and Museum Studies").

Daishi Yoshimoto.jpg



Born in Tokyo, Japan. At age 4, his family moved to Panama, where he lived until he started studying architecture at the University of Florida. In 1993, he moved to Japan and begun his career as an architect at Takenaka, one of the largest design-build general contractors in Japan. Between 1998 and 2001, he lived in Berkely to pursue his Master's degree in Architecture at UC Berkeley, while working at Stanley Saitowitz Office in San Francisco. At Saitowitz, his main project was the Yerba Buena Lofts, a landmark live/work residential project in the SOMA area. After his return to Takenaka in 2001, he worked on several residential projects before beginning work on the French Embassy redevelopment project. The project included the new Embassy, a civil use residential building, and a local community town hall. In 2010, he moved to Doha, Qatar to work on the new Doha International Airport as on-site architect for Takenaka. Back in Japan, he worked on the Tri-Seven Roppongi project, a large scale mixed-use office/commercial building in the Roppongi area of central Tokyo. In 2016 he joined UDS, an architecture/design firm where he currently serves as corporate officer of its design division. In his 25-year+ career, he has designed numerous projects in a large variety of use, size, and site conditions. In parallel with his professional practice, he currently teaches in a design studio at Kokushikan University. Other recent responsibilities included serving as president of AIA Japan in 2018.

Design Dialogue (II)

Design Talk (II) "Re-define: The Design of the Simplicity

Simplicity is the state or quality of being simple. Something easy to understand or explain seems simple, in contrast to something complicated.

In interior design, serenity is one of the essential elements for high-end projects. It may involve a timeless and straight forward perspective with an artisanal feeling through nature, people, and art.

The design talk is all about navigating the secret of the interior design.

Guest speakers were redefining how they execute with this element from different perspective into the diverse presentation and extend the beautiful design of Asia to different countries.

Speaker - Shigeru Kubota, President of Kubota Architect & Associates Inc. Japan Commercial Environmental Design Association (JCD)

Speaker - Johnny Li, Managing Director LI&Co. New York & Hong Kong

English - Peggy from Merci Media, Editor-in-Chief
English/ Japanese - Mame from Mottomo
Cost: Free, please do your RSVP at the following link

Date: Saturday, August 31, 2019
Venue: RIVIERA Tokyo Showroom タイルの「リビエラ株式会社」
Open Reception: 14:00 pm
Design Talk: 14:15 pm

Fees: Free

For your RSVP:

Johnny LI.jpg

Johnny Li

Managing Director LI&Co. New York & Asia Pacific

Brought up in the US, Johnny graduated at the Rhode Island School of Design with a double bachelor degree in Architecture and Fine Arts. He had worked at international architecture and design companies Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in New York, Koetter, Kim & Associates of Canary Wharf in London, and Herman Czech & Architects in Vienna, before joining Rocco Design in Hong Kong. In 1998, he set up LI&Co. with his long time collaborator and Partners, Mr. David Gibb and Tommy Wong. Johnny is interested in designs that amalgamate different cultures, arts and architecture. His design inspirations are often taken from his travels, his love of cinema, and the basic tenets of fine arts and architecture. He is currently the Managing Director of New York design studio.


Its portfolio of projects are mostly focused in Asia & North America, such as New York, Boston, Tokyo/Hokkaido, Singapore, Bangkok and cities in greater China including, Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Macao and Hong Kong.

Its corporate clients include Van Cleef & Arpels, Richemont, Shanghai Tang, Marriott International, Puyi Optical, Blanc de Chine, The Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, Marguerite Lee, The Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital and The Hong Kong Museum of History, etc.

武石 略歴.JPG

Shigeru Kubota

President of Kubota Architect & Associates Inc. Japan Commercial Environmental Design Association. (JCD)

Shigeru Kubota is an expert on Planning, design producing and design work has covered a wide range of categories including architecture, interior, products, and so on.

WAREHOUSE Galaxy HARAJUKU. MERCEDES-BENZ CONNECTION Bosch Café METoA Ginza(Mitsubishi Electric’s Showroom) Tsutaya Tokyo Roppongi Imabari Towel Minamiaoyana UT(UNIQLO T-Shit Store) and more.

About Design Talk Partners and Venue sponsor


Riviera Co., Ltd.

Riviera Co., Ltd. is a building material trading company that mainly sells with Italian tiles. Starting in 1997, we drove to introduce building materials such as porcelain tiles, natural granite, and marble from Italy and Spain. We are focusing on the entrance part of Japanese detached houses.

We offered our customers inspiration and satisfaction, such as design proposals and development of composite materials in line with the Japanese housing structure, and we pride ourselves that we were able to contribute to the creation of new Japanese housing designs.

In March 2013, we opened our first full-scale tile showroom in Nishi-Shinjuku, Tokyo. In July 2018, we will relocate the complete Tokyo showroom to Akasaka, Minato-ku, and welcome a wide range of customers from end users to professional designers.

The Riviera-Tokyo Showroom has a concept of space as "the place of the beginning of a trip to look for tiles that will come to mind like a resort hotel," as it wants customers to have a luxurious and enjoyable experience. We aim to serve as a relaxing space for visitors, as well as a place to gain tile knowledge.

In correspondence with the opening of the Tokyo showroom, a new tile brand "TERRA" was launched. "TERRA" means "soil" in Italian. The company name "RIVIERA" means "coast," and it's named from the image of "Soil," which is the raw material of tiles, to make a new image in contrast to that name. We plan to capture building materials called tiles from fashion and expand them so that customers can enjoy and choose tiles.

The statement of the Riviera brand is "Imagination to form, impression to you." We defined the tiles that we handle as "fragments of creativity," and we believed that we help develop the space of our customers' ideas through the "fragments of creativity."

We will strive to enhance our services in the future for the ideal form an impression of our customers.