Daytrippers: Manami Sakurai

With sustainability in design at the heart of this year's Daytrippers venture, we've commissioned two designers to create patterns for 4 different Furoshiki's, that celebrate friendship, summertime and being outdoors. Each is made in Scotland. In this series, you'll meet the designers behind these collectable products. Today, we chat with Manami Sakurai

Manami Sakurai is a Tokyo based designer who graduated from Central Saint Martins where she studied fashion and textiles. She gained experience as a textile designer in England, India and Japan, and in 2019 she founded MANAMI SAKURAI. Her atelier is based in the prestigious Taito Designers Village.

Local Heroes commissioned Manami to create one large furoshiki-scarf which is titled ‘Daytripper’ and one smaller sized design called ‘Ordinary Day’. Furoshiki are very popular in Japan where they are used to wrap gifts and shopping, hung as artworks to brighten interiors and worn as scarves and bags. We asked Manami to describe her design process and approach to this commission for V&A Dundee.

“I am a storyteller who sends peaceful messages through my textile designs. In my everyday life, I gather my thoughts by seeing different kinds of art, reading books, watching movies and chatting with my friends. Then I start to draw to create designs that have a gentle message. I love hand drawing lines and I believe that free floating lines hold the warm personal touch. I use a variety of drawing and painting tools depending on my mood. I hope my colourful textiles can fill your day with joy and a nostalgic feeling.”

“Designing the ‘Daytripper’ design was challenging for me. I tried to draw it as if it were a page of a picture book. I usually design my textile with repeat prints, so it was a new experience for me to create the design as a one picture story. But overall it was a great experience! The ‘Daytripper design was inspired from my childhood memories of day trips with my family. We would go into forests or hills with our sketch books and sketch what we saw. For me, the idea of a day trip is good memories and fun discoveries, and I wanted to convey these feelings through this design.”

This year Manami has worked on a variety of projects in Japan. She collaborated with the stationary company Kakimori to design a range of notebook covers and with a Japanese tea company to create special packaging for their Afternoon Tea range of teas and biscuits. At a much larger scale, Manami has created the artwork for a number of construction site building wraps; her colourful drawings of local scenery bring joy to the people passing by.

“I was very excited when I heard from Stacey (director of Local Heroes) because V & A is one of my favourite museums in the UK! I also love the idea of designing the print for Furoshiki. Furoshiki is the big square cloth we’ve been using in Japan for a long time. There are so many kinds of ways to wrap and carry things using Furoshiki so it is exciting to introduce them to audiences outside of Japan.”

Local Heroes, founded by design curator and exhibition maker Dr Stacey Hunter, is a curatorial studio that connects audiences with contemporary Scottish design and craft.

All the products are available on the museum plaza, in our shop or online.