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 Inc.
After working as a creative director at creative agencies around the world—including BBH, 180, and Wieden & Kennedy—he established creative lab PARTY. 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.

As clashing values continue to reveal themselves through an array of problems, I think it’s becoming increasingly important that we accept and try to understand each other’s differences. I hope that through this “embrace” theme, we’ll see ideas that enable people to overcome their differences, accept them, and embrace them. Also, I look forward to seeing a number of designs that have never been conceived before—those that, based on the ideas behind them, could solve some issue out there.

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 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, discovered through archaeological research—he has many projects underway all around the world, and especially in Europe and Japan. His major works include the Estonian National Museum, the Hirosaki Museum of Contemporary Art, the Al Thani Collection Foundation’s museum, and the Imperial Hotel’s new main building (scheduled to be completed in 2036). 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, AFEX Grand Prix 2021, and 67th Mainichi Design Award 2021. His books include Tane Tsuyoshi: TSUYOSHI TANE Archaeology of the Future and Archaeology kara Architecture e (From Archaeology to Architecture).

We can enrich people's souls, get society to cooperate, and reconfirm how bountiful the earth is, all through design. Also, I think that anything with the power to accept things will be able to live on in this world for a long time to come. I’m really excited to see the designs the entrants come up with when they take on this “embrace” theme. I’m sure they’ll transcend the times.

Nao Tamura

Designer

website : https://naotamura.com/

Nao Tamura is a designer in the most modern terms. Her talents cross-over cultures, languages, disciplines, concepts and styles with consistency of smart thinking always at the heart of her work. She is truly global in her insights and execution. As a product of Tokyo and New York City creative communities, her solutions are equally at ease in the world of 2D and 3D, with an uncanny ability to find that emotional connection with the industry status-quo often insists upon. Her unique solutions are more than simply design and possess a rare balance of innovation and beauty.
Nao Tamura has also received a number of prestigious awards including: IF Design Award, Red Dot Design Award, Industrial Design Excellence Awards (Gold), Milano Salone Satellite Award (1st prize) and so on.

“embrace” has a slightly different meaning than “accept.” While you might “accept” something when someone tells you to or when it becomes more common in the world, “embracing” something starts with understanding the situation and facts well, then dissecting the topic at hand in your own way, empathizing, and finally, actively accepting it. From there, I think it’s important to use your creativity to tackle whatever the topic is. I think seeing the various issues in society—or the daily inconveniences we face—as our own problems and thinking about how to get past them is the “embrace” we’re looking for this year. Rather than whether your entry solves a big or small problem, we’re looking to see proposals in which the entrant or product user appears to be “taking a step ahead.”

Teruhiro Yanagihara

Teruhiro Yanagihara

TERUHIRO YANAGIHARA STUDIO. CO LTD.
Designer
More Info

website : teruhiroyanagihara.jp/

Teruhiro Yanagihara

TERUHIRO YANAGIHARA STUDIO. CO LTD.
Designer

website : teruhiroyanagihara.jp/

Teruhiro Yanagihara is a designer. Born in 1976, he established his own studio in 2002. Aside from his studio in Osaka (Japan), he also set up a studio and showroom in Arles (France) in 2020. He plans to relocate to Kobe in 2022. Yanagihara is currently working on projects that surpass country and genre boundaries, basing his work in France, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Taiwan. He creates comprehensive proposals for brands on their creative direction, art direction, product design, interior design, and more.

Products interact with different people in different ways. When I come face to face with a product, I don’t just think, “Oh, there’s something there.” I think about whether there’s a happy future ahead of it: whether there’s something positive about it for the person making it, the person showcasing it, or the person using it. For this year’s theme, “embrace,” I’d like entrants to think about exactly that. I’m looking forward to fantastic ideas for entries that could make everyone happy.

Yoshie Watanabe

Satoshi Yoshiizumi

Principal of TAKT PROJECT Inc. / Designer
More Info

website : taktproject.com

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.

“embrace” encapsulates the idea of different people and things in our world resonating with each other. Try thinking about what’s being “embraced.” I look forward to seeing entries that can predict a certain kind of future, where things with different perspectives and values resonate with each other to break down—in a good way—the ideology that shapes our world as it is now, in which there are only ideas that everyone will gravitate to and those on the fringe outside of it.

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. He previously worked in corporate sales for the Furniture Business Division, as the Corporate Planning Department Manager, and as a company representative before becoming Representative Director of the Board, President, and CEO in 2015. In February 2021, the company announced its long-term vision, and introduced a new corporate philosophy: “be Unique.” In November of the same year, it announced its third medium-term management plan: “Field Expansion 2024.” It strives to achieve sustainable growth by capturing changing customer needs and creating new experiences in how we work and learn.

There are a lot of problems surfacing in the world that are hard to solve. The intent of this “embrace” theme is for everyone to think together about solutions in which we embrace different values and accept differences, as not doing so is the root of said problems. That’s also the approach KOKUYO is communicating through its Purpose, “Bringing you tomorrow.” Creativity and design are playing increasingly important roles in this era, where we can’t envision the future ahead. Please let out all your passion in the KOKUYO DESIGN AWARD.