公益財団法人日本デザイン振興会 公益財団法人日本デザイン振興会

Messages

Motomi Kawakami
Chairman, Japan Institute of Design Promotion (JDP)

As times change, the methods and direction we have taken in the Good Design Award and other Japan Institute of Design Promotion activities have changed with them. Our perspective has shifted from an initial focus on helping Japanese industry rebuild, through more competitive products, to a public-minded viewpoint that recognizes how design can enrich culture and bring harmony to environments at many levels. As society matures, the scope of design naturally broadens. Instead of merely making things more convenient, design should afford a sense of contentment that comes from living in tune with nature.

Although times may change, the enduring essence of humanity does not, and as our post-disaster society reflects on the path Japan has taken, we have seen initiatives to get back to basics. In design and other fields, people are objecting to many aspects of the status quo, turning toward locally rooted globalism, and reviving traditions in various ways, attempting to redefine Japanese ideals.

This raises a few key issues for us in design promotion, which we must consider in fulfilling our basic role of bridging the design community and society at large. First, we must realize how vital it is for design to support community development "both industrially and environmentally" by fostering personal growth, the creation of intangible community assets, and so on. I myself contribute in community building through regional design competition screenings and other work. Local goals and approaches may vary, but where the soil is fertile for good leaders, I sense that communities can thrive. The next important topic for us is how younger generations approach design. One emerging trend among younger designers in Japan and elsewhere who face less favorable employment conditions is to take the initiative and produce one’s own projects. Another Information Age development is the potential for freer interdisciplinary collaboration, which promises to drive more design in Japan. People are still exploring these developments, but there is great interest both in what will inspire how younger generations think and work and in the new dynamics that may emerge.

Tourism and interaction with foreigners exposes people to other cultures and lifestyles, but JDP must instill a deeper appreciation of unfamiliar things and ideas through design promotion that accurately conveys underlying thinking and ideologies.

In design promotion, it is the Institute's mission to look for indicators of good design and share them with society. We will not stray from this mission, which we approach with a certain sense of ethics, sound judgment, and keen aesthetic sensibilities. Through our mission, we have developed the Good Design Award ideals that we continue to share with fast-growing Asian nations and around the world. To expand our role in this regard, we will need stronger support from those who ultimately use the products of design. Consumers have become more discerning, and some have more foresight than designers themselves. Accordingly, industries are evolving away from uniform mass production for the masses to more specialized, responsive production aimed at offering a generation's favorite new products.

On the other hand, building a fulfilling and sustainable society requires us to redesign our current society of consumption. Although people have been working toward the kind of society that values long-term recycling of high-quality products by addressing ecological issues, saving energy, and taking action for the environment in many ways, these efforts are relatively recent. Further progress depends on new social structures aimed at overall coordination, through collaboration and reorganization in many industrial and academic fields. Such developments can drive innovation in Japanese industry, and we will continue to promote design along these lines, believing that it can clear the way to truly fulfilling lifestyles.

Atsushi Oi
President Japan Institute of Design Promotion (JDP)

My sincere congratulations to all Good Design Award 2018 winners announced today.
More entries (4,789) were received than in 2017, and there are probably a few reasons for this. Social appreciation of design has grown in recent years, and people have higher hopes for what good design can do. The expanding boundaries of design have led to greater diversity among those involved. What's more, becoming a GDA winner is now more valuable. The rising number of entries from overseas - especially from China and elsewhere in Asia - shows how design is positioned as being strategically important to growth in these areas. It is also a sign of the trust we have earned for fair and rigorous evaluation.
The 1,353 winning entries announced today reflect these current design conditions while suggesting what future design should be like.
I trust that this year's winning entries will give a sense of how essential the power of good design is in improving the quality of everyday life and raising new possibilities in society.
Among all winning entries, the Good Design Best 100 announced today are particularly outstanding and worthy of setting a new standard in design today and tomorrow. It is from the Best 100 that winners of special awards, such as the 2018 Good Design Grand Award, will be chosen.
Watch for our other program activities throughout the year.

October 3, 2018

BACK TO TOP