AIKA SAWAI NAKASHIMAAika Sawai is the Managing Director of AKQA Tokyo. As a Japanese native born in New York and raised between the USA, Yokohama and Bangkok, Aika was fascinated from an early age by the way the energies of different cities are driven by the relationship between their people and the structure of their technological landscapes. When she entered her professional career in tech and communications at KDDI and social platform company, she applied this interest by developing and implementing frameworks within which emerging technologies, particularly in the mobile space, could be leveraged.
It was through working to identify and implement new tools in tech that Aika began to shift her focus to how new tools could be used not for their own sake, but as a way to express and grow with human stories. When she joined the founding team of the AKQA Tokyo in 2013, Aika worked to grow the innovative capacity of the studio from its single founding client, NIKE, to also include top global brands from diverse categories, such as, Google, BMW / MINI, AMERICAN EXPRESS, and LION to name a few, within its client roster along with a diverse team of creators and innovators.
In her time with AKQA, Aika’s work has spanned integrated communications and digital transformation including—among others—the digitization of the welcome journey for new AMEX card members, fostering a new passion for running through custom music that is triggered when you run with NIKE, and helping shift the Japanese music listening landscape from CDs to YouTube Music. She’s also the proud mother of 4-year old who wants to be a vampire and lives in a self-designed renovated apartment.