Yu Orai & Nadya Kirillova

Yu Orai:
Yu was born in Yamaguchi prefecture, Japan, a place surrounded by nature and is said to be the Australia within Japan. If Yamaguchi is Australia, her birth place would be about the same location as Ayer’s Rock. Growing up in Machida city, a city of gangsters in Tokyo, she graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts with a major in design. She also studied education and has a teacher’s license, which has been influencing her work ever since. Joining Dentsu in 2008, Yu works on both analog design such as graphics and print design as well as digital and interactive design. Being brought up surrounded by nature, she likes interacting with people and nature and tries to bring this essence to her digital and technology works.

Yu has worked for clients such as automobile, beverage, film, radio and newspaper companies. Her projects include “Connecting Lifelines” “dots now”, and “Sound of Honda / Ayrton Senna 1989” for Honda’s internavi and “Car Radio Personality Petiteco” for Tokyo FM. She has been awarded the Titanium Grand Prix at Cannes, Black Pencil at D&AD, Grand LIA, Golds at Clio and Oneshow, and Grand Prix at the Japan Media Arts Festival, among many others.

Three years ago, Yu bought a vacant house on a remote island in Nagasaki. It is a private library and it opens to the town. The books are donated here with the rule “Three books of your life”. Here, people can experience an interesting culture by mixing locals and travellers through special workshops and activities. Yu recently opened a coffee stand “Coral Coffee” next to the library, as well as launching a new accessory brand using recycled corals.

In her free time she likes collecting snow globes, playing kendama, a Japanese traditional toy, and reading comic books.

Her English is a bit poor so she might be talking only 20% compared to Japanese, but will be very happy if you would talk to her and teach her English. And she’ll teach you Japanese.

Nadya Kirillova:
Nadya was born in Leningrad USSR and had a very ordinary childhood enjoying swimming and learning how to play the violin. Her life has changed completely at the young age of 7 when her family decided to move to Kyoto, Japan, where at the time not many people with “golden hair” have been living. From an ordinary Russian girl to the one and only foreign girl at school, she had many weird but interesting experiences. Fortunately or unfortunately it didn’t end there, when she had to move to the UK, France, US, Canada and 3 other cities in Japan and attended 10 different schools within 8 years. She had to survive in 4 different languages, being a vegetarian and drinking only milk for lunch for a year, being the first ever foreign student at school, as well as catching up with 2 years of maths in 3 month etc. After graduating college, Nadya joined Dentsu in Tokyo as a copywriter in Japanese, another unexpected twist to her life. Blending with some struggles in into the unique Japanese working culture, she became a creative that works at an intersection of traditional and new advertising. Integrating storytelling, digital and interactive executions, product and service development, she is always searching for new creative possibilities.

Nadya’s works include ‘Connecting Lifelines’ and ‘Sound of Honda / Ayrton Senna 1989’ for Honda’s Internavi, ‘Two Will’ for Sony’s Sony tablet, ‘Car Radio-Personality’ for Tokyo FM, and ‘2012 Tokyo IMF World Bank Group Annual Meetings’ for the Ministry of Finance. She has been awarded the Titanium Grand Prix at Cannes, Black Pencil at D&AD, Grand LIA, Golds at Clio and Oneshow, and Grand Prix at the Japan Media Arts Festival, among many others. Currently she is a member of Dentsu Innovation Institute Team B. She also started to work in experiential education trying to teach kids creativity, and teachers about different approaches to education based on her own unique schooling experience. Her articles focusing on this theme reached 1 million views, and received several awards in education. Nadya is looking forward to another rare twist to her life.