New series UK design engineer in Tokyo “Ume Matsuri (at Umegaoka)”10.03.10
During February I decided to escape Central Tokyo, and took a train to Umegaoka on the Odakyu Line. Here they have a small park with lots of plum (ume) trees. There was an Ume Matsuri event, so I decided to go and take a look. In the UK, we don’t usually have any festivals so early in the year, I found out that here in Japan the plum blossom starts to bloom in February. It was a great escape and a chance to see all the different varieties and colours of ume tree blossom, all in one place. I was surprised to see how popular and busy the park was. I have heard that in Japan there is a great appreciation of nature, and a real sense of awareness for each of the seasons. This is something I have seen first hand on many occasions in Japan.
Wandering through the plum blossoms reminded me of apple trees we have in the UK, which are also popular and normally grow in Orchards (this is the name for a plantation of apple trees). These apple trees in the UK don’t usually blossom till late April or early May, but the blossom appearance is quite similar.
The park was also offering a Japanese tea ceremony so I ended the day by having some Japanese tea. Although it was a cold day, it was great to be able to view the last plum blossom in the fading winter sun, whilst enjoying my green tea inside the warmth of the tea house.（Text by Martin Peek, Dyson）
In this series “UK design engineer in Tokyo”, Mr. Andrew McCulloh and Mr. Martin Peek, who are design engineer of Dyson and live in Tokyo, will make a report about various matters from which they get some inspiration in their daily life.
“Many years ago as a student, I studied at Brunel University in West London. My degree was in Industrial Design Bsc (Hons). This is when I first really started to enjoy design and creativity along with some engineering disciplines. I completed the 4 year course and still have an enthusiastic appetite for design. The summer that I graduated from Brunel University, I was searching for jobs, and was fortunate enough to join Dyson in the UK. It is here that I first worked for a company who is also enthusiastic about creativity and doing things differently. I worked for few years in the RDD department, designing new products. I then become more involved with Japan. I first had a trip out to Japan in 2004, after which several more trips took place. I finally started to work full time in Japan in 2007, and I’ve been here ever since.”