JUDGES

Ryosuke Uehara

Ryosuke Uehara

CEO, Art Director & Creative Director of KIGI Co., Ltd.
MORE INFO

website : www.ki-gi.com

Ryosuke Uehara

CEO, Art Director & Creative Director of KIGI Co., Ltd.

website : www.ki-gi.com

Ryosuke Uehara was born in Hokkaido in 1972, and graduated from the Faculty of Art and Design at Tama Art University. He worked at DRAFT Co., Ltd., and established KIGI in 2012 with Yoshie Watanabe. He seeks new perspectives on artistic creation through his activities, which include art direction and product design for many companies and brands, establishing the KIKOF brand with craftsmen of traditional arts in Shiga Prefecture, and running OUR FAVORITE SHOP, a gallery and own-brand store.
He has won the Tokyo ADC Grand Prix, the Tokyo ADC Membership Award, and the 11th Yusaku Kamekura Design Award, to name a few. He held KIGI WORK & FREE, a large-scale solo exhibition, at Utsunomiya Museum of Art in July 2017. In 2018, he participated in the Hojoki Shiki Exhibition at the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale 2018 by designing the Yoigoma standing bar.

Researching and investigating things thoroughly can mean they get too mature and end up being more difficult—quite the opposite of what was intended.
I think that’s true of design, art, and various other fields, too.
I felt the KOKUYO DESIGN AWARD had also been getting a little geeky, so this time I want it to take a simple, proper look at design.
I want it to really pursue design—quality, materials, form, and so on—and not put ideas first.

Masashi Kawamura

Masashi Kawamura

Chief Creative Officer of Whatever
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website : whatever.co/

Masashi Kawamura

Chief Creative Officer of Whatever

website : whatever.co/

Masashi Kawamura is the Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of Whatever.
After working as a creative director at creative agencies around the world—including BBH, 180, and Wieden & Kennedy—he established creative lab PARTY. He worked as a creative director there while also serving as the CEO of PARTY NY and Taipei, and was in charge of all global business projects for those companies. Then in 2019, he founded new creative studio Whatever, and took up the position of Chief Creative Officer. He is involved in a wide range of projects, including campaign programs for numerous global brands, product design, development of TV programs, and music video production. He has won many awards around the world, including at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. He was selected by the American magazine Creativity as one of the Creativity 50, a list of the world's most notable creators and innovators, and was also selected for Fast Company's list of the 100 Most Creative People in Business, and AERA’s 100 People Breaking Out of Japan.

When you hear “POST-NORMAL,” the first thing you think of might be the coronavirus.
However, the theme’s been set with the meaning of what will be normal in the future, so please think of designs that capture what daily life is going to be like in a broad sense.
In recent years, there have been a lot of entries where the ideas have been in the context and story behind the design, rather than in the design itself.
That’s great, but this time I’d also be happy if the entries return to the product a little more, and we get to see ones where the shape of the thing or how it looks also include proper ideas.

Tsuyoshi Tane

Tsuyoshi Tane

Founder of Atelier Tsuyoshi Tane Architects / Architect
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website : at-ta.fr/

Tsuyoshi Tane

Founder of Atelier Tsuyoshi Tane Architects / Architect

website : at-ta.fr/

Tsuyoshi Tane is an architect. Born in Tokyo in 1979, he established Atelier Tsuyoshi Tane Architects and, now based in Paris, France, he works on many projects in Europe, Japan, and other parts of the world. His works include Estonian National Museum (2016), New National Stadium Kofun Stadium (proposal) (2012), LIGHT is TIME (2014), Todoroki House in Valley (2018), Hirosaki Museum of Contemporary Art (2020), among others. He has received numerous awards, including the French Ministry of Culture Architecture Prize (2007), 67th Japanese Ministry New Face Award of Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts, and Architect of the Year 2019. He has also been nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award. He has been teaching at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation since 2012.

It’s an extremely simple theme, and that’s precisely why we want you to look at various everyday things around you.
Many of those kinds of things might have been made in the 20th century.
However, can we find any that we’ll be able to use even longer into the future now we’re in the 21st century, or things that will be able to create the future that’s to come through the power of design?
I’m looking forward to seeing amazing designs that are a proper response to those kinds of questions.

Teruhiro Yanagihara

Teruhiro Yanagihara

Designer
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website : teruhiroyanagihara.jp/

Teruhiro Yanagihara

Designer

website : teruhiroyanagihara.jp/

Teruhiro Yanagihara was born in Kagawa Prefecture in 1976. He is a designer, and established his own studio in 2002. With the idea of designing environments for designing, he is engaged in a number of design projects—spatial design, product design, and everything in between—that go beyond the boundaries of countries and genres. He has also been a part of the launching of several new brands as a creative director. His activities are currently based in Osaka, France, and the Netherlands.
Some of his works have their place in the permanent collections of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and the CNAP (Centre national des arts plastiques), to name a few. He is also the co-author of several books, including Real Anonymous Designs (from Gakugei Shuppansha), Design manners from 11 designers between 2000 and 2009 (Rikuyosha).

I think “POST-NORMAL” is a very difficult theme, but because it can be interpreted freely when proposing ideas, it’s also a theme that offers extensive choice.
I hope that means people can propose ideas freely in the situation they’re in now.
The big difference from normal years is that this year is a historic one, with the whole world sharing one major problem.
I’m looking forward to seeing big, borderless proposals that go beyond national boundaries, rather than just ones that set their sights no further than within Japan.

Yoshie Watanabe

Yoshie Watanabe

Art Director & Designer at KIGI Co., Ltd.
MORE INFO

website : www.ki-gi.com

Yoshie Watanabe

Art Director & Designer at KIGI Co., Ltd.

website : www.ki-gi.com

Yoshie Watanabe was born in Yamaguchi Prefecture in 1961, and graduated from Yamaguchi University. She worked at DRAFT Co., Ltd., and established KIGI with Ryosuke Uehara in 2012. Besides being a graphic designer, she engages in product and fashion design. She has been involved in product planning at D-BROS, created the fashion brand CACUMA in collaboration with Hobonichi, and established the product brand KIKOF with craftsmen of traditional arts in Shiga Prefecture, to name some of her activities. She also creates artwork in her free time and holds exhibitions to present them. In 2015, she opened OUR FAVORITE SHOP, a gallery and own-brand store, in Shirogane, Tokyo. Through Little More Books & Store, she has published the picture books BROOCH, UN DEUX, and Journey, as well as KIGI and KIGI_M, which showcase her work and those of other artists. She has won the Tokyo ADC Grand Prix and the 19th Yusaku Kamekura Design Award, among other honors.

In recent years, we’ve been choosing entries that propose “concepts” that have social significance.
However, now I want us to stop where we are for a moment and go back to the KOKUYO DESIGN AWARD’s roots again.
I want people to submit entries in which they’ve properly designed a product.

Hidekuni Kuroda

Hidekuni Kuroda

KOKUYO Co., Ltd.
President and CEO
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Hidekuni Kuroda

KOKUYO Co., Ltd.
President and CEO

Hidekuni Kuroda joined KOKUYO Co., Ltd. in April 2001. After working in corporate sales for the office furniture department and taking a Corporate Planning Department Manager position, he became the President of KOKUYO FURNITURE Co., Ltd. In 2015, he became the President of KOKUYO Co., Ltd. KOKUYO established the following as their mission statement for the future: KOKUYO aims to be a Life & Work Style Company that enriches society by providing value through our products and services to enhance customers’ creativity and to deliver improvements to their Quality of Life so that they can work, learn, and live better. To this end, starting in 2019, the company is working to achieve a second mid-term management plan that focuses on acquiring capacity for sustainable growth.

With the impact of the coronavirus, major changes are happening all around the world.
I think there’s been a lot of changes that we’ll never be able to reverse.
Amidst all this change, we’ll need to think about going back to our own basic essence, and what’s most important as the ways we live, work, and learn change.
“POST-NORMAL” was chosen for the theme this time because we want to think about things like that together with the entrants.
I’m looking forward to all your entries.