Tokyo Midtown Design Hub
Design in Japan 2011

Tokyo Midtown Design Hub 27th Exhibition

Design in Japan 2011


-- Re:SCOVER NIPPON DESIGN A Fresh Look at Japan's Countryside by Designers on the Road
"Design in Japan," launched last year as the annual exhibition to explore the present and future of Nippon design, is jointly held by three agencies of Tokyo Midtown Design Hub (Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization/ Japan Graphic Designers Association Inc./ Kyushu University Faculty of Design Tokyo Lounge).
As the second in the series, the exhibition introduces three designers of various fields traveling to different parts of Japan. Designer Makoto Umebara, who vitalizes regional brands with respect for nature of the localities, visits Akita City, Akita Prefecture, expecting new encounters. Chie Morimoto, known for her art directions of TV commercials and advertisements, traces her roots in Sasayama City, Hyogo Prefecture. Product designer Shunji Yamanaka, who blends engineering and design into watches, Suica ticket gates, robots and more, revisits Tanega-shima, Kagoshima Prefecture, to view the most beautiful rocket range on earth.
With unique perspectives of these artists, local beauty of the countryside is rediscovered and new values are designed. The very processes are captured in "photographs" and "words" and presented with artifacts discovered along the journey. Through the designers' eyes, local realities are revealed, from which we can get a clue to the right path for the future Nippon design.

As a related display, Kyushu University (Fukuoka) exhibits "Serious Game" and "NPO FUKUOKA Design League."

Title: Tokyo Midtown Design Hub the 27th exhibition "Design in Japan 2011"
-- Re:SCOVER NIPPON DESIGN A Fresh Look at Japan's Countryside by Designers on the Road
Date: Fri. 22 April - Sun. 5 June, 2011, 11:00-19:00
Venue: Tokyo Midtown Design Hub

Organizer: Tokyo Midtown Design Hub
General Direction: Satoshi Fujimoto (Re:S, inc.)
Exhibition Space Design, Art Direction: MOMENT
Designers and their travel destination:
Makoto Umebara (Designer) Akita
Chie Morimoto (Artist, Art Director) Hyogo
Shunji Yamanaka (Product Designer) Kagoshima
Photography: Masashi Asada, Ryumon Kagioka, Tomoki Hirokawa
Special Cooperation: Kozue Hibino, ssgoen°students, Fujifilm Corporation

Designer Bios

Makoto Umebara : Designer
Born in Kochi City, Kochi Prefecture. Retired from RKC Production (Kochi Broadcasting Co.) in 1979 and traveled around the U.S.
In 1980, established Umebara Design Office, which aims to utilize design for "revitalization of primary industries"
In 1988, with a bonito fisherman of pole-and-line fishing, created "Ippon-zuri Warayaki-tataki (seared bonito, fished pole-and-line style and grilled with straw wrap,)" which in 8 years developed into a 2 billion industry. In 1989, worked as the producer of Seaside Gallery in Kuroshio-town (then Ogata-town), positioning the 4-km beach as a huge museum. Produced "Shimanto Newspaper Bag" in 2005, with the concept "to wrap every product in Shimanto River region in newspaper." The bags are also sold overseas. Based on the fact that "Kochi is the most forested prefecture in Japan with 84% forest coverage," started "Hachi-yon (84) Project" in August 4th, 2009, comparing Kochi to a CO2 absorbing machine. Always wishes to use design to conserve Japan's beautiful landscapes.

Chie Morimoto: Artist, Art Director
Born in 1976. Joined Hakuhodo Inc. in 1999. Became the youngest member of Tokyo ADC in 2006. Established goen°in 2007.
goen°is a group with the motto "Our encounters lead to inventions. Creating all of our dreams. Connecting each one of us together."
Among the latest works are SONY "make.believe" and Suntory "BOSS Silky Black." Doing everything brought in by "en," (curious, lucky coincidence or fate) works beyond boundaries of advertisement and design, including the CD jacket for Mr. Children's "SENSE," space design for a nursery, title design and dance for NHK morning drama "Teppan," and the poster for NHK Taiga drama "Go-Himetachi no Sengoku." Awards: Good Design Award, N.Y. ADC Award, One Show Interactive Award, JAGDA New Designer Award, ACC CM FESTIVAL Best Art Direction Award and more. Her 11 years of work is covered in recently published book "Utau Sakuhin-shu."

Shunji Yamanaka: Product Designer
Born in Ehime Prefecture, 1957.
After graduating from University of Tokyo as a mechanical engineering major in 1982, joined Nissan Motors Design Center. Became an independent designer in 1987. Associate Professor at the University of Tokyo, 1991-94.
Established Leading Edge Design Corp. in 1994. Designer for products ranging from watches to railway cars and technical expert dealing with robotics and communication technology. Professor of Keio University since April, 2008. At Shunji Yamanaka Design Laboratory, researches in the relationship between people and artifacts focusing on prosthetic limbs and robots that appeal to senses. Mainichi Design Award in 2004, Germany's iF Product Design Award, Good Design Award Gold Prize and more. "tagtype Grage Kit" selected for the permanent collection at MoMA in New York. Books: "Future Style" (ASCII), "Hito to Gijutsu no Sketchbook" series (Taiheisha), "Projections of Function: Shunji Yamanaka Works 1988-2006" by photographer Yukio Shimizu (Leading Edge Design)、"Skeltal Structure of Design" (Nikkei BP, 2011) etc.

Photographer Bios

Masashi Asada [Photo: Chie Morimoto x Hyogo]
Born in Mie Prefecture, 1979. "Asada-ke (The Asadas)" photo series won the 34th Kimura Ihei Award in 2009. Books: "Asada-ke," "NEW LIFE" (both AKAAKA Publishing), "Kazoku Shimbun" ( Gentosha).

Ryumon Kagioka [ Photo: Shunji Yamanaka x Kagoshima]
Born in Tokyo, 1976. After graduating from a university, studied at Chelsea College of Art, London BA Sculpture Course. Since 2006 contributed works to magazines such as edu, bp, tocotoco, Camera Biyori, Re:S, nid and Coyote.

Tomoki Hirokawa [ Photo: Makoto Umebara x Akita]
Born in 1979. Works ranges from magazines, CD covers, ads, TV programs. Portrait photos for guests in NHK TV program "Top Runner" (2004-2010). Exhibition "Hongo Reiji San-pun (3 Past Midnight in Hongo)" as a part of the 130th anniversary celebrations of the Tokyo University in 2007.

General Direction

Satoshi Fujimoto Creative editor / President, Re:S, inc.
Born in Hyogo Prefecture, 1974. Chief editor of magazines Re: S and Shashin no Kotoba. Known widely as the editor and writer for the book "Nippon no Arashi" featuring Japanese pop group Arashi of Johnny & Associates introducing Japanese culture and beauty. The book was donated to schools all over Japan. Works beyond the realm of printed media, producing various exhibitions.

Exhibition Space Design, Art Direction

Design studio with co-presidents Hisaaki Hirawata(Born in 1974) and Tomohiro Watabe (Born in 1975). After graduating from Tama Art University (Department of Architecture) in 1999, established MOMENT in 2005. Design works ranges in fields of architecture, interior, artworks, products, packaging and graphics.

Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization(JIDPO)
Tel: +81(0)3 6743 3776 Fax: +81(0)3 6743 3775 Email: