"KAKEHASHI Project" Young Professional Creators (Takako Kansai, Tadahiko Sakamaki, Eisuke Tachikawa, Ayana Tsukahara, Yuri Naruse)

Dispatch in April 2014 (Design)

Young Professional Creators (Takako Kansai, Tadahiko Sakamaki, Eisuke Tachikawa, Ayana Tsukahara, Yuri Naruse)

Period:April 27 – May 4, 2014
Number of Participants: 5

Tour Photo Album

Photo taken in New York
Arrival in New York

Photo taken at NYC & Company
NYC & Company
(Visiting company)

Photo taken at Pratt Institute
Pratt Institute
(Visiting Mary McBride)

Photo taken at Antenna Design
Antenna Design
(Visiting Masamichi Udagawa)

Photo taken at Google Inc.
Google Inc.
(Visiting company)

Photo taken at School of Visual Arts
School of Visual Arts

Photo taken at MoMA
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
(Visiting Paola Antonelli)

Photo taken at New Museum
Symposium at New Museum

Photo taken with young designers at Two Twelve
Discussion with young designers at Two Twelve

Photo taken at AIGA/NY
(Visiting company)

Photo taken at Kiss Me I'm Polish
Kiss Me I'm Polish
(Visiting company)

Photo taken at AKQA
(Having a dialogue with Rei Inamoto)

Photo taken at RUNWAY shared office
RUNWAY shared office

Photo taken at Institute of Design at Stanford University
Institute of Design at Stanford University
(Participating in a mask-designing workshop)

Photo taken at Stanford University
Architectural Design Program at Stanford University
(Visiting John Barton)

Voices from Participants

1. What impressed you most in this experience of promoting the charms of Japan in the U.S.?

  • What struck me most was that, despite the differences in market size, there is essentially no difference between Japan and the U.S. (New York and San Francisco) in terms of creating products and services. The designs of Kiss Me I'm Polish would probably be accepted in Japan just as they are, and the presentation of Bracket’s Shoes of Prey, which we did together, was extremely well received by the female audience wherever we went. I realized that high quality design is being accepted everywhere without any barriers (of course, this probably only applies in major cities around the world.)
  • After the lecture at the symposium, I realized that very many people were interested in and concerned about service. This is partly because the event was attended by people who had an interest in Japan, but even so, they questioned me eagerly, and I was happy to see that in the U.S., people responded to Japanese service by finding it “new” and “stimulating.” With regard to business in general, it is often said that things become trends in Japan were popular in the U.S. a few years back. However, I felt that it might be possible for things to become trends in Japan before the U.S., depending on how it was presented and promoted.

2. What would you like to pass on to people in your community and industry after you return to Japan?

  • I hope to reflect my experiences from this tour when thinking about the relationship between government administration and design at the Cool Japan Promotion Council for which I am working. This visit abroad has made me feel that Cool Japan is something we ought to think about from the perspective of diplomatic relations as well.
  • In addition to communication with local people, the far-ranging discussions I had with fellow participants while traveling gave me a new and broader point of view. I learned a great deal, and there were many specific episodes that I will be able to make use of in the future. For example, the definition of “newness” and topics, which are now attracting attention in the architectural industry, and trends and career paths for designers in the musical instruments field: these are things that I can bring back with me and I can reflect these opinions in my own industry. Also, both through the program and otherwise, I met Japanese people who were living and working in the U.S. Through those encounters, I felt that the possibility (including for myself) of working, creating services, and having an impact in another country was more accessible, and I want to get to the point where I can actually do that.

3. Please freely describe your experience in the KAKEHASHI Project.

  • The itinerary and the support system for the program were both wonderful, but the most interesting thing was the selection of the people who traveled with me, and their diversity. I feel that there is a fair chance of launching collaborative projects with my fellow participants. If the projects are operated at home and abroad, it could also become an extremely fruitful international exchange. For that reason, I hope that the Japan Foundation continues its support for overseas visits through the selection of participants who can generate projects.
  • I did not know to what extent the things we were doing would be understood overseas, but we were able to give presentations in various places during this program, and I could see the reaction of the people in the U.S., and feel strong response. I want to use the connections made on this visit to work overseas in the future.

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