Society for Design and Art Fusing with Science and Technology


Toward “New Arts and Design”

Dr. Takahito Saiki
president of SDAFST

Birth of “Arts and Design”

The origins of the field “Arts and Design” in Japan can be traced back to 1962 when the College of Art and Design was established at Musashino Art University, and to 1966 when Tokyo Zokei University was founded. Then, Arts and Design was formally established at the Kyushu Institute of Design (currently the Faculty of Design, Kyushu University) in April 1968. Its objectives were “humanization of technology” and nurturing “comprehensive designers” to cope with various pollution problems such as water and air contamination, and human alienation, all of which emerged from rapid technological innovation during the postwar period of high economic growth.

Subsequently, the School of Art and Technology, Hokkaido Tokai University was established in Asahikawa in April 1977, Kobe Design University was founded in Kobe in Aril 1989, the Industrial Design Department, Sapporo School of the Arts was established in April 1991, and Tohoku University of Art and Design was founded in April 1992 in Yamagata. These universities and several company researchers became the main members of the Design Research Association, which was inaugurated in November 1992.

Thereafter, Nagaoka Institute of Design was founded in April 1994, the School of Design and Architecture, Nagoya City University was established in April 1996, the Department of Arts Policy and Management and the Department of Design Informatics were set up in the College of Art and Design of Musashino Art University in April 1999, and the Faculty of Design and the Faculty of Cultural Policy and Management were established in Shizuoka University of Art and Culture in April 2000. In October 2003, the Kyushu Institute of Design was integrated into Kyushu University, as we see it today.

During the history of about a half-century mentioned above, a number of universities, faculties and departments were established to pursue education and research in Arts and Design. The history shows that various new global issues have become evident, including the globalization of information, population concentration and depopulation, changes in the urban environment, waste and shortage of resources and energies, changes in the natural environment caused by global warming, frequent occurrence of large-scale disasters, stagnation of the world economy, and expanding economic disparity. It also reveals that these issues confronting the global community have joined the universal challenges that academic activities related to Arts and Design are expected to address.

Specifically, Arts and Design in our living environment consists of visual design, fashion design, product design, architectural design and environmental design. Its mission is to create a living environment that is most suitable for humanity. Moreover, communication design activities using such media as manga, animations, computer graphics, movies and photographs, as well as creative expression activities using formative design and arts are being conducted, while developing deep understanding of Arts and Design, whose realistic theme is to cultivate various relationships as information culture. These include people-to-people relationships, relationships between people and natural ecosystems, relationships between people, society and history, and relationships between people and their specific traditional cultures. The practice of Arts and Design and its education and research activities have not been intended to merely resolve technical issues, but also to address general social challenges facing people living in each age, so as to play a role in enriching our daily life.

From “Arts and Design” to “New Arts and Design”

The “New Arts and Design” that we need today has the role of shaping future society as it gains consensus from society along the way, growing out of “humanization of technology,” which was an initial objective of Arts and Design. Here, one would find new demands for appropriate technology in accord with global ecosystems, as well as creative wisdom that predicts future directions that the times would take.

Thus, New Arts and Design, which is intended to help create the future society, requires not only scientific/ technological capabilities and the power of formative expression, but also clairvoyance, imagination, and judgment based on social ethics conserning the cultures of people and their social lives. New Arts and Design is a new discipline to be comprehensively implemented while incorporating even things that we cannot see, through all the following processes and uninterrupted time taken for these processes; discovery and presentation of new ideas, investigation and conceptualization, planning and drawing up of designs, actual expression and shaping, and then marketing, practical use, evaluation and correction, and the remainder of the product’s life cycle.

Today, companies dealing with information and manufacturing as well as local governments are working to promote local community revitalization and social contribution making use of design and art. It can be said that these activities are also part of the embodiment of New Arts and Design.

One of the continued challenges for Arts and Design is to consider what a house is, what a chair is, what shoes are, what manga is, and then so forth ― in other words, it is to explore their “original,” “archetype” or “prototype.”

In this manner, if looking again at new moves in this age as the challenges to be addressed by New Art and Design, we can see that this new discipline has started to fuse with other disciplines, transcending its original scope― design, art and media, with an increase in collaboration between universities both in Japan and overseas and in their close cooperation with local communities. In the future, it is particularly necessary to develop the Design Research Association into an entity capable of contributing not only to local communities, but also to Asia and the global community as a whole.

This publication’s feature titled “The Future of Art and Design” reexamines how we should envisage future creative activities to be implemented in order to cope with the demands of the time, now undergoing a dramatic transformation along with the ever-changing global environment, on the occasion when about half a century has passed since the field of Art and Design originated. In this attempt, we also aim to redefine the social significance of today’s Arts and Design and the concrete methods of its creative implementation.

Gensai x Design

What is gensai? It is a new word used in recent years to express a concept similar to “disaster prevention” which itself refers to the measures we take against disaster. Although the violence of nature can never be restrained, what we can do is keep the resulting damage to a minimum, and the word refers to any device or action that does so. Pursuing this concept elevates the importance of thinking about what effective measures we can take in our regular lives to do more than merely cope with disasters when they strike. For more details about “gensai”, please check out our website and general information.

We are poised to take our first step towards bringing our efforts out of Japan and into the world. Design and art are the foundation of our cultural output, and are becoming more and more important every day. Although modern Japan is a nation built on science and technology, art and design are usually developed outside of the establishment.

As such, art and design are on a different stage than science and technology, clearly making the fusion of the two a very difficult undertaking. However, we at SDAFST have set our sights on the new possibilities and frontiers of design that come from the combination of these two extremes.

Needless to say, the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami shocked the world. The disaster took nuclear power, the product of science and technology, and spun it out of control. The magnitude of the resulting impact of this harsh reality can be seen in the public opinion of Japan and the world.

At the same time, it has been impressed upon us that the various problems brought about by the earthquake and tsunami are not the problems of one country, but are international issues that must be solved through the cooperation of the interna- tional community. To begin addressing the challenges we face, we look to international academic cooperation, co-owner- ship of these problems, and new design efforts.

Design is the approach that serves as the starting point of people’s lives. We are currently pursuing the blending of life-sized science and technology with designs that live up to the ways we think and feel.
Global cooperation can do more than solve global or regional problems. It is also our mission to use our work to create, and to work towards mutual cultural development. Design’s greatest role lies in the fusion of diverse cultures and the creation of new ones.

Mission statement

Today, the science melted into our daily life, for example such global phenomina as called informative society, diversely and complexly. In these circumstances, it is expected to iterchange, dipatch and propel creativity focusing humanity and its future. This should be established by not only thespecialized research field of design but also by the viewpoint of fusing any kindof research field related to humanity or society, especially art, science andtechnology. The memberships of SDAFST must respond to these variousproblems by means of opening to various academic fields such as history,economy, cultural anthropology, sociology adding to art, science and technology, and will develop human resources of next generation.

Dr. Takahito SAIKI

SDAFST Social Competition (GENSAI)

What can we do in our regular lives to reduce the damage caused by disasters, even if only by a little? How should we proceed in doing so?

Event Overview

“Gensai” is the concept of improving preparedness in order to reduce the damage caused by an unavoidable natural disaster as much as possible. This competition encourages participants to look at this idea from a design perspective. We want to hear your insights into the relationship between “gensai” and “design”, and see your suggestions of how the influence of gensai can permeate society going forward.

2015 Theme “Designs that Improve Preparedness”

Everyone understands that we need to do more than normal to prepare for a possible emergency in order to protect ourselves and keep ourselves alive. For example, keeping emergency supplies ready at home is some- thing we are all likely able to do.
When working to improve preparedness, there is always the question of “what will we be facing, and how should we prepare?” Even if we know how to go about making preparations, there is also the issue of “how can we be even better prepared?” Using the power of design, try to overcome these issues.
What should we have ready when the time comes? Plus, what devices are sure to make us even better prepared? Start by thinking about what you can do to promote gensai in your own life!

Routine Activities:

Hold Spring Convention each year to discuss state of the art topics
Hold Autumn Convention each year for research presentation and symposium
Issue the journal of the SDAFST three times per year
Review the thesis from the membership, then post them to the journal
Give prize to selected papers
Encourage excellent graduate works or papers recommended by the jury in each universities of the SDAFST Edit and issue some bookds related to design and art fusing with science and technology
Hold competitions related to design and art fusing with science and technology
Develop programs for students or fleshers

New Activity:

SADFST has started activity to organize research networks to apply to the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKEN) of the Ministry of Educationm Culture, Sports, Scinece and Technology (MEXT), then “Histoy of Regional Design” got Grant-in-Aid this year.

Interntational Activities

In 1999, the SDAFST spring convention 1999 was held at Sookmyung Women’ s University in Korea, and
in 2010, the SDAFST spring convention 2010 was held at Tongi University in Shanghai, co-sponsored by each universities
The SDAFST has 8 memberships who live out of Japan at 1st. Jan. 2015
The SDAFST are composed by members from universities, insttitutions, organizations and companies conserning to Art and Design.

Current board members and there affriciations, 2017-2018:

Representative of the board

President: Koji KURODA (Shizuoka University of Art and Culture)
Vice president: Ritsuko IZUHARA (Kanazawa Institute of Technology)
Vice president: Koichi INOUE(Kyushu Sangyo University)

Hiroshi OGAWA (Tokai University)
Naoyuki oi (Kyushu University)
So Sakai (Tohoku University of Art and Design)
Koji Sano (Kobe Design University)
Manabu SHIRAISHI (Musashino Art University)
Tsuyoshi MATSUKAWA (Aichi Institute of Technology)
Nobuhiro YAMABATA (Tohoku University of Art and Design)

Shiro AOKI (Japan Institute of Deesign Promotion)
Toshinori ANZAI (Sapporo City University)
Katsuro ISOMURA (Shizuoka University of Art and Culture)
Kimitaka KATO (Fujitus Co. Ltd.)
Mitsuo TOYAZAKI (Kobe Design University)
Kiyoshi NAKATA (Tama Art University)
Eiko FUJIMOTO (Kyoto City University of Arts), Yoshiyuki SHIROMA
Akiko MORIYAMA (Musashino Art University)

Yukio ARITA (Toyama University)
Tetsutaro NAKABAYASHI (Tokyo Zokei University)
Tomo MAKABE (Nagaoka Institute of Design)
Kazutoshi MASUNARI (Shibaura Institute of Technology)
Mikako MIZUNO (Nagoya City University)
Akito MORINO (Sojo University),

Secretary general: Jiro SAGARA (Kobe Design University)


Jiro SAGARA (Kobe Design University), Shinji WAKIYAMA (Kyushu University)

Office :

Kobe Design University
8-1-1 Gakuen-nishi-machi, Nishi-ward, Kobe, 651-2196 Japan

SDAFST Contact Person : Jiro Sagara
E-Mailing Addressdafst@kobe-du.ac.jp CUMULUS



Last-modified: 2024-01-09 (火) 15:05:41