Finding Japan in Germany! Part 10: Interview with Boris Milkowski, who aims to bridge Japan and Germany together at ”Goodpatch”.

"A report on Japanese culture found in Germany" - In this article TJ writer wasabi, currently in Berlin, is interviewing people she found who are associated with Japan and its culture. This time she interviewed Boris Milkowski, Designer & Managing Director at Goodpatch, about what it’s like to work in Berlin.

Wasabi   Culture,

Boris Milkowski

The history of Goodpatch

What’s “Goodpatch”?

Goodpatch is a startup company with its head office based in Shibuya, Tokyo. It was formed in 2011 by CEO Naofumi Tsuchiya and has succeeded as the largest UI design company in Japan since then. Some of you may ask what UI is, so let me explain a little bit about it. UI is the abbreviation for “User interface”. To put it simply, it’s the space or medium that induces interactions between humans and computers. For example, the arrangement of buttons and icons on a website allowing a user to effectively operate and control a computer, thus allowing it to feed back beneficial information for a persons decision-making process. UI is a real essential concept in the field of design. Goodpatch is the leading company that brought the notion of UI to Japan, and they are now advancing to overseas markets with a branch in Berlin, one of the most multicultural cities in the world. This time, I interviewed Boris Milkowski who works here as a designer and managing director.

“It felt like the best option for me to work for Goodpatch in Berlin.”- Boris

Goodpatch currently has 63 employees and most of them are Japanese, but members in Berlin are very proficient in languages such as English and German. English is commonly spoken at the company. It’s no exception that Boris also has an international background. He majored in Media Design at Keio University in Tokyo, and even studied in Switzerland and Finland during high school. After graduating from Keio University, he worked at Goodpatch before coming to Berlin. He says that working for Goodpatch in Berlin was the best option for him, considering his international background.

“I’ve been wanting to contribute something to a Japanese company’s success overseas, so it felt like the best option for me to work for Goodpatch in Berlin.”

A day at the Goodpatch office.

The key to solving problems is “Discussion”.

It’s so stimulating to see these young ambitious people working in such a sophisticated office. As far as I know, there aren’t many Japanese companies that can fulfill the burning curiosity of young ambitious people. Boris always has a desire to improve, putting it as; “Goodpatch isn’t perfect yet.”

The most important thing for a design company is discussion, but he thinks that “Nemawashi”, the Japanese process of gathering people together for suggestion to create a foundation for a project, isn’t’ successful because the foundation is usually decided on prior to the meeting. It’s also a challenge for some Japanese members to understand the overseas market and its culture. To solve these problems, Goodpatch sends one member, every month to it’s Berlin office to gain a global way of thinking.

“Japan has been becoming more multicultural. What Japanese people think is normal, is sometimes not normal world wide. To succeed in the world, this awareness will be necessary and I want to contribute grass-roots cooperative ideas to Goodpatch.”

I could see his love for Goodpatch and what he does.

Japan will become more diverse in the near future and will be more open to the world.
I hope that Boris and the members of Goodpatch will be a new role model for Japanese companies to succeed in overseas markets.

Tadaima Japan also holds the idea to, share more informative information. I’m happy to have written my 10th article for “Finding Japan in Germany”. I will report more on Japan-related information here in Germany! Please keep watching over me with your warm hearts, as I need them to survive in the ridiculously cold winter coming to Berlin!

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Writer / Translator

I’m a freelance translator from Tokyo who likes to travel right in the middle of the unpredictables in life. Through the translation of articles I hope to create points of contact between Japan and the rest of the world. As a writer, I want to add information that isn’t in the guide book, from a “wasabi” perspective!



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