We’re having a busy summer here at AQ. As Paul and Tomomi prepare to open our doors in Paris, we welcome two new members to the Tokyo team, Mathieu Mayer-Mazzoli and Mamiko Kamata.

After two years freelancing in Dubai, Mathieu joins AQ at the intersection of UI design and development. Since his start in June, he has worked with our team and several startup partners to shorten idea-to-deployment cycles.

Mamiko joins AQ as project director for Japanese business, after more than a decade planning and managing web development, e-commerce and social media operations. As vice president of the Japan Web Directors Association, she organizes community events and workshops around Japan.

What brought you to Tokyo? I grew up in Marseille, a nice, sunny city in the south of France. Like all French kids of the 90’s, I spent my Sunday mornings watching Japanese TV cartoons, which is how I first became familiar with Japanese culture.

I came to Tokyo for the first time in 2003 to attend Japanese high school for a year and experience daily life in a different culture and eat as much tonkatsu as possible. Since then, I’ve been constantly looking for the right opportunity to return to Tokyo.

How did you become interested in product design? I’ve always been fascinated by well-made products, that look as beautiful on the inside as the outside, but came to this job just recently.

After spending some time designing for advertising campaigns, I was hungry to work on projects with more lasting utility. So I quit my job and taught myself everything I could about development in order to build things that are both useful and fun to interact with.

I started with small websites for friends and family, and open source tools for popular publishing software like WordPress and Jekyll.

What are you eager to work on this year? For a long time, the use of motion in user interface design has been mostly aesthetic. Animations were there to delight us, but most of the time they were not very meaningful. With the release of Apple’s iOS7 last year and Google’s Material Design this year, we can clearly see a transition towards more meaningful motion and interactions.

Most of the breakthroughs so far have been in native apps, but it is becoming easier and easier to make something move, bounce and pulse in the web browser. I want to be part of the generation that brings meaningful and delightful motions and interactions to our websites.

Where are you from? What brought you to Tokyo? I’m originally from Aomori in Northern Japan. I moved to Tokyo to study at university. The move was quite a culture shock for someone who’s used to the peaceful countryside where people leave their homes unlocked! Tokyo is an exciting city with lots of different people and fast-moving trends. I’ve been fortunate to make many great friends and job opportunities here, and have made Tokyo my home.

How did you become interested in web services?

My interest first developed as an online gamer, when I first discovered the possibilities of connecting with lots of people via the web. At that time, there wasn’t anyone around me that shared this interest, so I was on my own to figure out how it all worked.

I started a few communities and chatrooms for online gamers. Eventually I got a job in the web industry and helped to build a variety of e-commerce sites and social network services.

I love working as a team to grow services. Recently I made it a goal to learn as much as possible about user experience design, and that’s how I came upon AQ.

What are you eager to work on this year?

I’m excited to build and grow awesome services with our clients, and learn a lot in the process.