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)

Japan Institute of Design Promotion is now accepting entries for the 2019 Good Design Award program. It is a fitting time to recall how the boundaries of design expanded in the imperial era now ending.
Sound design principles were applied not only to make tangible things, but also to create value in systems, services, and other intangibles. Even the role of design in corporate management has drawn attention in recent years.
People also began to recognize the power of design to suggest ways to solve a variety of challenges and meet goals, such as the U.N.'s Sustainable Development Goals. Whether to achieve targets or generate new value, good design has been actively employed in creative approaches by diverse contributors in quite a broad range of fields.
Never before has the power of design been wielded to this extent in building a prosperous society where everyone can live a creative life with a sense of optimism.
As the GDA program continues to monitor these developments and people's hopes for design, we will be selecting exemplary design for a new era through fair and rigorous screenings.
Promotion to make the awards even more valuable to winners will include a variety of events such as the Good Design Exhibition and Best 100 design presentations, as well as coverage in Focused Issue essays and international exposure through ties with partner programs outside of Japan.
Design constantly evolves as times change and society advances. The award program will expose winning entries to a broad audience as ways to enhance the quality of life and industry, and drive the dynamism of a new era.
We sincerely look forward to your participation in the program.

April 3, 2019

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