2020What design can do during an era of change
Yasuyuki Kawanishi
Considering “design for expanding relationships”

The “appropriateness of expansion” for sharing and spreading good wisdom and good design


Yasuyuki Kawanishi, an architect, designer and facilitator, listed the theme “Design for expanding relationships” upon becoming a Focused Issues Director. Difficulties constantly haunt the aim to create awareness and increase interest among many people. As such, contours of the “appropriateness of expansion” could be seen in the selection of the Good Design Award.

Expansion is not About collecting “likes” or a lot of money

I took part as a judge for the Mobility unit of Good Design Award last year, but the trends for this year’s entries have changed unimaginably. Last year, there were many entries related to automatic driving technology.

In contrast, although there were entries competing with the latest technologies, there were also many with the themes “local community” and “relationships” that are related to my Focused Issues theme. There were many entries from the domain integrating the classic need of problem-solving demanded of design, and many were serious initiatives.

Yasuyuki Kawanishi

My theme of “Design for expanding relationships” in other words means sharing and spreading good wisdom and good design. I wanted to think About a well-honed way of how wisdom expands and how to expand wisdom. In these terms, what especially left an impression on me was “House for Marebito,” a guesthouse by VUILD, inc.

Today, as more people from the city visit the hilly and mountainous areas (intermediary areas between the fringes of plains and mountains) that they admire, this initiative used local resources and wisdom to create a small economic cycle, while also using the power of IT to provide 3D data of buildings to other regions. It allowed the contradictory global and local to coexist at a high level and the “appropriateness of expansion” and “expanse of expansion” was phenomenal.

Trying to expand something is not just About earning a number of “Likes” or raising a lot of money with crowd funding. Of course, these numbers are also important, but the “House for Marebito” was very piercing in that it solved the problems of the hilly and mountainous areas, while also expanding with fun.

Another impressionable entry was the “Design Movement on Campus” plan entered from Taiwan and an art festival called “Romantic Route 3 Art Festival.” These used the power of design and involved students and citizens in an attempt to change the state of schools, education, and the community.

The “Design Movement on Campus” plan was a scheme for establishing design as a foundation for education. In other words, it was an approach based not on instructions provided from above, but a way of thinking stating that developing people that can think and create independently is the root of education.

Including the other “Romantic Route 3 Art Festival,” Taiwan showed a clear awareness that nurturing talented personnel will lead to creating a better organization.

I felt somewhat envious of how Taiwan, including the government, made initiatives toward issues

Lastly, in terms of relationships of support, I wanted to strongly support “mi-chan's Sweets workshop,” which created a place for a relationship with the community and society for a young girl who is fighting a mental disorder and is good at making sweets. With a very limited budget, I am sure the designer faced difficulties, but I believe that this careful initiative is the very basis of design.

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