Interview

S/PARK Studio, co-created by runners and researchers

POSTED on 2019.1.25

S/PARK Studio will open on the first floor of Shiseido Global Innovation Center (dubbed “S/PARK”; hereinafter “S/PARK”), the grand opening of which is scheduled at Minato Mirai in Yokohama. It will have a running station and offer original programs.
What is S/PARK Studio and how does it differ from other gyms? It has a passion for beauty that is not limited to a beautiful appearance and is unique to S/PARK and Shiseido. We spoke to Ms. Shirato and Ms. Aizu, who are making preparations for the facility by finding their own way.

Maki Shirato, Senior Researcher of S/PARK Planning Group, GIC Integrated Operations Department, Global Innovation Center / Health Science Advisor registered with the Japanese Society of Physical Fitness and Sports Medicine

Yoko Aizu, S/PARK Planning Group, GIC Integrated Operations Department

Ms. Aizu (left) and Ms. Shirato

S/PARK Studio will be unique to Shiseido and unavailable anywhere else

— First of all, describe your current job.

Shirato: The lower section of S/PARK has a variety of communication areas for attracting customers. We are in charge of planning and operating S/PARK Studio, which combines a running station and multipurpose studio. I also work as a researcher at Shiseido.

Aizu: I have been a runner in the *Shiseido Running Club, so I was assigned to S/PARK Studio to create programs with a focus on running and contribute my perspective as a runner.

— Were the topics of your research originally related to S/PARK Studio, Ms. Shirato?

Shirato: I majored in sports medical science in graduate school. I joined Shiseido with that background, but I have studied a variety of topics in different departments. Over the last few years, I have been focused on health and beauty.

— Could you describe your new trials and challenges at S/PARK Studio?

Aizu: S/PARK Studio is part of Shiseido, and I want to differentiate it from other facilities. In addition to a running station and yoga, I want to introduce something that is unavailable anywhere else. Therefore, I will try to create something characteristic yet unique to Shiseido, such as programs based on the findings of our researchers and running lessons where athletes from the Running Club are available as coaches.

Shirato: Currently, Shiseido does not have any sports-related facilities or services. Operating this facility is a challenge in itself. Most of all, we want to deliver more than just external beauty but also a kind of beauty that comes from within and is also dynamic and active. The answer to this comes from the running and exercise programs, which we hope will help direct attention towards some lesser-known aspects of Shiseido. We want to further expand Shiseido’s beauty segment.

The one and only facility for a beauty experience incorporating research findings that is unavailable anywhere else!

— Will active athletes from the Running Club serve as instructors at the running station?

Aizu: Yes, we hold fun run events that are more about running together than teaching. For S/PARK Studio, we are planning to provide more specific programs, such as ones for running enjoyably and beautifully and ones that can help runners to improve their times.

Shirato: Working closely with the runners of Running Club, we can plan classes and events that are in line with the essence of S/PARK Studio. It will be very interesting to create programs for realizing active beauty, which is beauty of the mind, body and movement, based on feedback from customers and researchers to fully bring to life Shiseido’s research know-how.

— Programs with findings geared toward customers would be very unique and not available elsewhere, right?

Shirato: That’s right! In addition, we can measure the condition of the body, mind, skin, and so on. We will check the effects of the programs and review them to create even more effective ones. This is how we plan to continue improving the programs.

— What other kind of experience-based programs do you have in mind?

Shirato: We are planning to include regular yoga programs in the menu. To differentiate S/PARK Studio from other sports facilities, however, we will create a variety of programs from Shiseido’s unique findings on beauty. They can include one in which participants do not move their bodies at all. There is a café* on the first floor of S/PARK that I think will allow users of the facility to have a comprehensive beauty experience, such as eating post-exercise meals at S/PARK Cafe.

Aizu: I agree. In the team, we exchange ideas, such as offering a smoothie to recover from exhaustion after exercise and a boxed lunch that can be eaten soon after returning home.

— Lastly, describe S/PARK Studio.

Shirato: It is a new challenge to be taken on by Shiseido. Although the facility is small, hopefully we will make effective use of it as a place for communicating Shiseido’s new ideas about beauty to customers. I joined this company because I wanted to do research that contributes to the healthy beauty of people based on the concept of wellness. This is an opportunity for me to focus on research that I have wanted to do for a long time and to incorporate it in a way that is available for our customers to experience. I am very much looking forward to the opening.

Aizu: I would like to make a facility that feels casual, approachable and comfortable even to those who are not good at sports. Personally, I cannot wait to see the facility open and to meet many customers. Every day we are finding ways to pack the facility with our original ideas. Please look forward to it!