JUDGES

Masashi Kawamura

Masashi Kawamura

Chief Creative Officer of Whatever Inc.
More Info

website : whatever.co/

Masashi Kawamura

Chief Creative Officer of Whatever Inc.

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.

A design that everyone takes for granted was probably inevitable at the stage when it was first thought of, but if you look at it again with the perspectives you have now, it might become something entirely different.
Furthermore, you might need to try questioning not just the products themselves, but also whether the very way you perceive the problems you want to solve is really OK.
The future is unpredictable now, and this is precisely why this year’s theme is about sweeping aside your own fixed ideas and society’s preconceptions, and taking a fresh look at design.
You should let your ideas range every bit as widely as the theme is asking fundamental questions.
I’m hoping we’ll see ideas that even make the judges feel bitter—like “We didn’t expect that approach?” and “That’s a surprising way to interpret ‘UNLEARNING.’”

Tsuyoshi Tane

Tsuyoshi Tane

Founder of Atelier Tsuyoshi Tane Architects / Architect
More Info

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 is now based in Paris, France. Based on the concept of “Archaeology of the Future”—which is about creating architecture from the memory of a place—he has many projects underway all around the world, and especially in Europe and Japan. His works include Estonian National Museum (2016), New National Stadium Kofun Stadium (proposal) (2012), Todoroki House in Valley (2018), Hirosaki Museum of Contemporary Art (2020), among others. The numerous awards he has received include the French Ministry of Culture Architecture Prize (2007), 67th Japanese Ministry New Face Award of Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts, and AFEX Grand Prix 2021. He has also been nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award. His books include Tane Tsuyoshi: Archaeology kara Architecture e (From Archaeology to Architecture) and TSUYOSHI TANE Archaeology of the Future (both published by TOTO).

What will the future be like?
We’ve been living on Earth and benefiting from its blessings and richness, but if we don’t change our mindset about the human activities that keep consuming fossil energy—energy that’s produced from the ground and developed across the world—the world will not become richer in the future.
Day after day, our expertise, skills, and experience until now inevitably accumulate over time.
But please let go of society’s so-called common sense and traditional values for once, return yourself to a blank slate, and envision your ideal future.
One key concept of “Unlearning” is figuring out what your true joy is—one that’s free of existing values.
We look forward to seeing masterpieces that have been designed with meticulous detail and show hopes for a richer future.

Teruhiro Yanagihara

Teruhiro Yanagihara

Designer
More Info

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, Netherlands, and the Denmark.
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).

“Unlearning” also means looking at existing things in a new light, with a different value, and from a different perspective, rather than creating something completely new. For instance, the key visual for this year’s theme “Unlearning” was made with Risograph printing. Originally, this printing technology was developed by a Japanese company and only printed in single colors which meant there was only so much you could do with it. However, in recent years, designers and artists abroad have found the challenge of creating under this kind of limitation interesting, and have produced new creative works one after another.
This is just one example, but because the world is changing right now, I believe “Unlearning” will become an essential keyword across nationalities, ages, gender, and many other different aspects. I’m looking forward to seeing ideas that will create new value.

Yoshie Watanabe

Satoshi Yoshiizumi

Principal of TAKT PROJECT Inc. / Designer
More Info

website : taktproject.com

New Judge’s Interview

Satoshi Yoshiizumi

Principal of TAKT PROJECT Inc. / Designer

website : taktproject.com

Satoshi Yoshiizumi conducts experimental independent research projects on “creating different possibilities” through design, and presents and exhibits work as a guest at museums and exhibitions both in Japan and abroad. He rolls out a wide variety of projects with his clients based on the results.
Awards he has won include the Dezeen Awards Emerging Designers of the Year 2019, Design Miami / Basel Swarovski Designers of the Future Award 2017, iF Design Award, Red Dot Design Award, German Design Award, and Kuwasawa Award 2017. His works are housed at M+ museum in Hong Kong.

I think there are two ways to look at “UNLEARNING.” One is that the applicants themselves will be “UNLEARNING,” and will create products based on new perspectives and interpretations.
The other is that for people who come into contact with the products thus created, the experience will be a trigger for “UNLEARNING” how they perceive and feel about things.
I feel there’s a lack of the latter perspective in the world right now, so in that regard, I’m looking forward to seeing what kinds of proposals we get.
Furthermore, while whether an idea is good or bad is very important in a product design competition, at the same time, I think its material feel and what it’s like as a product are also important.
If you try to give shape to an idea in your head using the materials you actually imagine it’s made of, that process will enable you to discover more than you’d originally thought of.
I’m looking forward to seeing great proposals that each show their own signs of trial and error.

Hidekuni Kuroda

Hidekuni Kuroda

KOKUYO Co., Ltd.
President and CEO
More Info

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. In February 2021, the company announced its long-term vision, and introduced a new corporate philosophy: “be Unique.” It strives to achieve sustainable growth by capturing changing customer needs and creating new experiences in how we work and learn.

The pandemic has made the problems facing the Earth and society even more apparent. I think it’s time both companies and individuals started thinking about whether a rich future really does lie beyond values based on single-mindedly pursuing “convenience” and “newness” in the world.
Instead of living with a uniform set of values, maybe people should choose their own, different ways of living, and think about what they want from them.
Please do try taking things that have always been taken for granted up to now, and rethinking them from scratch.
I hope this award will be a chance to think about and change the future together. I hope many of you rise to the challenge.