Morning Person of the Day: Taichi Kozaki
Meet Taichi Kozaki (@taichikozaki), Senior Experience Designer at R/GA and an organizer for CreativeMornings/London.
What is your first and/or most meaningful CreativeMornings experience?
My most meaningful CreativeMornings experience is probably the first one I have ever attended. It was April 2013, soon after I graduated from college in Savannah GA and moved to Austin TX to take my very first grown up job. I have to admit that being completely new to town and not knowing anybody was tougher than I thought. I have attended many meetup events around the town but nothing felt quite right until I came to the CreativeMornings. The moment that I walked into the venue that day, I was approached by so many friendly people, had great conversations throughout the morning, and left the event feeling ‘this is the place that I belong.’ Ever since then, I have been a big fan of CM. I want all attendees to feel the same way as I did that day so I started volunteering in Austin and continued doing that when I moved to London.
Describe the work that you do and the impact you’re trying to make.
As an experience designer, I have been working with a wide range of projects including social media campaigns, products and service design, and business transformation. I use creative and systematic thinking to produce design solutions that empower companies to build an emotional connection with their audiences.
In your work and life experiences, what have you learned about people?
If it hurts to say goodbye, it means it was worth saying hello.
What changes are you noticing in your community or industry that deserves more attention?
I think a lot of brands lose their personality and coolness when they move into the digital world. It is important for us to spend little bit more time understanding what makes the brands unique and help them build experiences that are not just functional but also authentic to them.
Tell me about the happiness moment in your career. Describe the feeling, the moment—bring us there.
I recently returned to my company’s Austin office after spending 2 years abroad. It made me so happy when I walked into the office and saw everyone that I knew welcomed me back with big smiles on their face and arms wide open.
Tell me about the saddest moment in your career, what you learned, and how you moved forward.
About a year after I started working for my company, I had to leave the US and lost my job because the I couldn’t secure a work visa (it’s a lottery system, and this happens to a lot of international students these days). I was devastated and felt hopeless as I flew back to Japan. But like my mother always told me, everything happens for a reason. I received an email from the company’s London office asking me to join them and I immediately jumped on the offer. Living in London widened my horizon in so many ways. I met so people that I can call best friends, worked hard and advanced my career, and also had a chance to be a part of CM London team. Live a great story, sometimes you just have to go with the flow.
If you could open a door to anywhere, where would you go? Why?
This would be Tokyo for sure. Since I left Japan almost 10 years ago, “it’s too expensive” has been my excuse for not spending new years holidays with my family. It would be nice to drop by my family more often.
Tell us something about yourself that we can’t find on Google.
I sweat a lot when I eat spicy food.
Profile picture: Rebecca Rumble. Blog image: CreativeMornings/London.