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)

We, the Japan Institute of Design Promotion, begin accepting applications for the Good Design Award 2017.

The public, government bodies, and business leaders are becoming increasingly aware of the efficacy and importance of the power of design and design-based problem solving in enriching our lives. It is amid this environment that the Good Design Award this year celebrates the 60th anniversary of its founding. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the many people who have supported, nurtured, and developed the Good Design Award over the years.

In recent years, the Good Design Award has begun to attract entries not only from those involved in manufacturing, but also a diverse, wide-ranging array of other people, including those focused on developing new businesses and services and those addressing an assortment of issues in various parts of Japan.

This will also be the third year in which we examine Focused Issues, a project that we established with the aim of highlighting the social value of design more clearly in light of this situation. As well as further enhancing Focused Issues, through which the Good Design Award offers suggestions for society as a whole, we plan to publicize the findings of the Focused Issues directors.

Furthermore, the number of entries from overseas has been steadily increasing in recent years on the back of the trust inspired by the Good Design Award, with its long history. In addition, we will seek to achieve mutually beneficial development by strengthening international cooperation projects based on the platform of the Good Design Award, as well as further bolstering their role in spreading the word about Japanese design overseas.

We also plan to restructure our Long Life Design Award, which recognizes designs that have become design standards in our daily lives. Specifically, we will seek to ensure that the screening process examines and identifies anew the role that design plays and shares this with as wide an audience as possible.

The Good Design Award is extremely effective in identifying specific examples of the power of design and design-based problem solving, while providing them with a signal boost to reach a wide range of people, both at home and abroad.

The Japan Institute of Design Promotion will seek to meet the expectations of society using a variety of means, including the Good Design Exhibition of award-winning designs and presentations at our PR base, Good Design Marunouchi, to spread the message about award winners’ designs and the ideas behind them.

I sincerely hope that you will enthusiastically take up the challenge of entering this year’s Good Design Award.

March 15, 2017

BACK TO TOP