We are seeking a Design Researcher to join our Tokyo Studio. We are looking for an individual who will guide and inspire teams into uncovering meaningful human-centered insights that drive great design and innovation for our clients.

As part of a small studio that is growing, this person must demonstrate a collaborative working style, great communication skills, and the ability to thrive in an innovative, non-rule-based environment.


Why is Design Research important for IDEO Tokyo?

Great design is born out of great research. Our Design Researchers lead clients and teams through a journey of human-centered research to discover insights and inspiration, and contribute to all phases of the design process.

IDEO Tokyo’s mission is to help Japan renew and reframe its creative and economic leadership position in the world by being a catalyst for change. We need a design researcher to help push Japanese companies to look outside for inspiration, and connect human-centered insights with technology to unlock Japan’s creative confidence.


What are we looking for?

The basics:

  • Fluent in Japanese & English speaking and writing
  • 3 to 6 years of qualitative research experience in Japan cumulating in a sound ability to scope a research process, lead fieldwork, conduct interviews and do desk research.
  • Ability to synthesize research findings, uncover and articulate insights that will inform and inspire design.
  • Ability to work flexibly and efficiently, exercise a balance between research rigor and inspiration.
  • Passion and pulse for the Japanese marketplace and culture.
  • High comfort level in working within a self-directed culture and navigating ambiguity.
  • Openness to critique from other disciplines and curiosity to learn from a spectrum of perspectives.
  • A multi-cultural individual who can guide projects in English and Japanese interchangeably. A typical project may require leading clients and researching in Japanese, while synthesizing with internal teams in English, and presenting results in Japanese.

What gets us excited:

  • An empathy and curiosity for how great brands, businesses and organisations navigate innovation and design.
  • Experience with unique and novel tools and methods to uncover key insights
  • Fluency in quantitative research methods. Ability to create and analyse surveys to impact design.
  • Creative storytelling abilities -- the ability to make an audience think/feel things they’ve wouldn’t have otherwise.
  • A passion for improving people's life through design.


Pop Quiz (optional)

As Design Researchers here in Japan, we are always on the lookout for interesting and unexpected people, places, and things that serve as great inspiration for design. Check out Mike Peng’s blog post about must-experience places in and around Tokyo: https://www.ideo.com/jp/blog/only-in-japan

If you were asked to help design a new and innovative hotel concept for the global market, what types of people, places, and/or things would you look to for design inspiration in Japan?

Please tell us 3 examples (people, places, or things) that you believe can inform or inspire the design of this new hotel concept. These examples can be completely outside of the hotel industry! Provide 3 pictures and a concisely written reflection (in English and Japanese) on each of your examples and why you think they are particularly inspiring.


About IDEO

IDEO (pronounced “eye-dee-oh”) is an award-winning global design firm that takes a human-centered, design-based approach to helping organizations in the public and private sectors innovate and grow.

We identify new ways to serve and support people by uncovering latent needs, behaviors, and desires.

We envision new companies and brands, and we design the products, services, spaces, and interactive experiences that bring them to life.

We help organizations build creative culture and the internal systems required to sustain innovation and launch new ventures.