Mari Minakuchi

Lead, Narrative Design

As a design researcher who uses my experience as a culture and business media editor, I search for insights and hints from qualitative information. I am also involved in creating concepts and output as a director for websites and media, as well as a copywriter and editor for various concepts and creations.


The space between journalism and expression

Although I entered the editing world by chance and built my career there, I originally admired the world of advertising. I was first impressed by the Benetton advertisement photos created by Oliviero Toscani. They lookedaton discrimination, conflict, famine, and the death penalty without deliberately verbalizing them but instead, expressed them through a single photograph. I was not aware of it at the time, but these were what we might call "design questions" now. They stimulate the viewer and provide them with an opportunity to think. A company's strong will ultimately leads to the strength of their brand. I admire such activities.

What is the survival power of urbanites?

I love the exciting and comfortable city life. However, I feel that we are becoming weaker as individuals as we get too accustomed to a convenient lifestyle. I am experimenting with deliberately dealing with a little inconveniences, such as traveling by bicycle instead of taxis or trains, cooking with seasonal ingredients, and incorporating agriculture into urban life by being an urban farmer.

How to make the "right opinion" stand out

We know that we have to do good things for the earth and our bodies, or that it's better to do them. However, the reason why we can't continue or spread these "right things" is that the fun part is missing. People can't move by just using the left side of their brain. So naturally, providing things that make us get excited and want to try something new is the best way to achieve this.


Born in Tokyo, but I was raised in Germany, the United States, South Korea, and Japan. After graduating from Keio University Faculty of Law, I started my career as a freelance editor while working for a foreign manufacturer and a video localization production company. I was involved in producing cultural magazines, books, and UNHCR’s public relations articles. Later, as a magazine editor, I conducted interview coverage, editing, writing, and supervised the visual direction and design direction of the magazine “Rolling Stone Japan” and business magazine “Forbes Japan.”

In 2019, I joined KESIKI as a founding member.

I am also a co-founder of the non-profit organization “SWAQ TOKYO,” which promotes community building through the exchange of goods like unwanted fashion items and records, and cleaning up local areas. As an urban farmer, I am also actively involved in considering the future of agriculture in cities.

In the past, I have volunteered as a translator for film festivals such as the “UNHCR Refugee Film Festival” and the “Tokyo International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.”