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.

Hiroyuki Fukano
President Japan Institute of Design Promotion (JDP)

After months of deliberation, we announced today the 1,608 winners of the 2021 GOOD DESIGN AWARD. First, I would like to congratulate all the recipients of this prestigious award. This is the culmination of not only your own tireless efforts, but also the support of everyone around you, including your colleagues, business partners, families, and members of your communities. I share your excitement in seeing your work come to fruition. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Takashi Ashitomi and Mr. Seiichi Saito for their great leadership as Chair and Vice Chair of the Judging Committee, as well as all members of the committee for their strong support.

Today, our world is undergoing a once-in-a-century transformation. The many difficult issues we face include coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, tackling climate change and other environmental issues, and preventing rapid innovation from deepening our social divide. As announced by Mr. Ashitomi earlier this year, the theme of the 2021 GOOD DESIGN AWARD is "Aspiration and Action with Consideration." This is a wonderful theme that verbalizes how our wishes and hopes for a better world can be realized if we all worked together. I believe that the selected designs embody this spirit in various ways.

Interest in design has never been stronger. Designers envision an ideal future, give it a specific form, and forge a path to that future. This year, the number of entries, as well as winners, is significantly higher than last year. When society yearns for a better future, designers respond with excellent works of art that propose multiple paths forward.

I would like to encourage the winners to promote the significance of these award-winning designs. We would be honored to help you succeed further in your business and activities.

The role of the GOOD DESIGN AWARD is to discover designs that create a better future and ensure that they are appreciated around the world. Those who happened to not receive the award this year also have my utmost respect: you have a deep understanding of the importance of design and competed among top talents. I hope you will continue to challenge yourselves in the future.

Following this announcement, we will promote the exceptional designs that are receiving the 2021 GOOD DESIGN AWARD. Those that we believe are particularly refined and have the potential to become models for the future are part of a selective group called GOOD DESIGN BEST100. We will review those top 100 winners further, choosing the recipients of the Good Design Grand Award, Gold Award, and Good Focus Award. By showcasing these works online, holding exhibitions, or planning other programs, we will strive to show the latest and best designs to as many people as possible.

We will continue to highlight great designs, so please keep an eye out for future announcements. We thank you for your continued support.

October 20, 2021

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