Report from a Sustainable design conference in Tokyo

Text by Åsa Elmstam

I have been attending to the 4th Conference called Sustainable Destination 2009 -2023, which is a conference of design for sustainability. This is an international conference discussing sustainable design issues, possibilities, obstacles, and our actions to achieve a sustainable society as soon as possible. The theme was "social innovation" and the program included reporting activities from the past and reconfirming the direction of sustainability. Sustainable Destination has been held 4 years in a row even though it is 2010 now and not 2009 (changed from before new years to after). I also attended the first conference in 2006 here in Tokyo.
Earlier years had these themes:
1# 2006 Finding a way to a sustainable society
2# 2007 Theme: Drawing a land map of a sustainable society
3# 2008 Steer toward Sustainable Society

At the conference this year there were around 250 participants from countries like USA, China and me from Sweden and of course Japan. The conference was well organized and everything ran smoothly. The first day we were in Shibuya in the Kuwasawa design school and on the second day at Roppongi Midtown with a nice view of the Hinoki-cho Park. The dates was 13-14/3-2010.

The first day

The first day consisted of four lectures by the keynote speakers ( ).
The first speaker, Mr. Alex Kerr, is originally from the USA but has lived in Japan for more than half of his life. One of his great interests is Japanese traditional house building techniques and culture such as calligraphy, martial arts and ikebana and he is working at spreading and preserving it. Alex Kerr questions the Japanese way of building infrastructure, especially in the countryside areas where he thinks that they seldom have respect for the landscape. There is a lot of building going on now. A lot of concrete roads and strange monuments in the forests just so that the politicians have to have something to show, so that people understand they are doing important work.

photographed by Åsa Elmstam

He talked about strange behaviors like building fabulously ugly fake mountains made of concrete. Building this infrastructure in a more natural way that doesn't affect the nature or destroy the sceneries would be better for everyone. How can forest and hills covered in asphalt attract more tourists to the countryside of Japan?

One of the highway building companies slogan is "Kind to people kind to environment". How can that be when they build highways crossing over sceneries on concrete mountains?

This I have to agree with, there is a lot of strange stuff built where you can understand that there is no overall planning of a landscape architect, no attempt of combining areas together which is both good and bad ... For example in Sweden many areas have municipal organizations that are normally called "Skönhetsråd" - which would translate into something like "Beauty Council" that has the last say in every construction matter and are very restrictive about new forms in the already existing public rooms. So people are criticizing Sweden for being a boring architectural country, nothing new and that protrudes too much is accepted. So this is the opposite case of Japan, where you can find exciting combinations and unimagined views.

photographed by Åsa Elmstam

Alex Kerr was also talking about the utility lines. All other countries have started to dig their utility lines down in the ground, for example China. They are not allowed to have them in the air any longer. But in Japan, "the hi-tech country", the power grid still look like in India.
And he was talking about the use of billboards. There are ugly advertising posters even at the temple sites. There has com regulations that have made the situation better but for example China still look much better.
He showed an example of the images on front pages on guidebooks. All the countries had beautiful pictures of beautiful houses, things and scenery except for the book about Japan that had a power pole with a tangled lump of electric cord on it.
I believe that Japan needs something like the "Skönhetsråd" of Stockholm (read more here ).
Alex is questioning why the houses in Japan are so badly built. They get mould, they are ugly and the materials used are crappy. In Japan we used to have simple housing made with simple constructions with natural resource materials like wood and paper. But now a days so many things are made out of plastic. Imitations of natural materials like bamboo shaped plastic fences and making Ikebana out of plastic flowers. (Ikebana is the art of putting together and combining flowers).

Plastic bamboo

photographed by Åsa Elmstam

To live in the nature in a more traditional way reduces the use of many bad things. He thinks that people feel ashamed of old scenery and old houses etc. And they want to modernize. It results in plain looking houses. All the big cities in Japan look the same and it would be difficult to separate pictures from different cities in Japan from each other.

Me as a Swedish person wonder why there is absolutely no insulation in the windows and in the walls. To have double-glazed windows with good seal that shuts out the cold air is a great way to save energy and lower heating costs. And to have good insulation in the walls makes the temperature nice and hot inside in the winters and opposite in the summer - it stays cool inside in the summer. The natural air without air conditioning is much healthier and not so dry.

Masuda-san later commented in his summary on Alex speech by mentioning the metaphor of cooking the frog. And saying that there are so many shocking stories in Alex's book about how the world is changing.

* * *

The next speaker, Mr. Eisuke Kumano, founded the Amita Institute for Sustainable Economies (AISE) and in 2007 he established the Shinrin no Bokujo open range and dairy farm, also known as La prairie de la forêt (The meadow of the forest). Eisuke spoke about how we live with an economic lifestyle that doesn't make us happy. He made the participants raise their hands if they were close to someone with an allergy or people that might commit suicide. I think everyone raised his or her hand.
He says that men are breadwinners, which they do not want to be. People used to share, for example, their timber in villages in past times. Shared values in villages are lost. Community rules have to be changed.
He told us about his company selling milk in old style re-used glass bottles from cows that roam freely in the nature to keep the landscape open. It is eight times more expensive than ordinary milk, but people still buy it.
Eisuke can by this prove that it is possible to sell things that are manufactured locally, which is more expensive, but it still sells out with storytelling and a fun experience. Take away the intermediaries and create value for a product - high quality.
I think that we have to transform the concept of design and the designer. It should not be someone who is good at drawing a new car. We do not need more production. What we need is new ways of doing things to change and limit production.

* * *

The third speaker was Mr. Teruo Kurosaki who started out as an importer of furniture but in recent years has started IDEE, which is a business centered on cultural lifestyles. He is also a teacher at the Freedom University and a culture advisor at United Nations University among many other things.

photographed by Åsa Elmstam

He spoke about how the first questions between people in Tokyo has become: What company are you working for? And: What is your salary?
People used to be happy just by living well and making money.
Kurosaki spoke on several areas like homeless people collecting and selling aluminum and living sustainability. He also spoke about changing Tokyo. For example Tokyo has too many restaurants, but too few places where you can relax and feel an inner calm. Tokyo should have hiding places for all those who need it.

Organic tea from Sri Lanka / Michi corporation
photographed by Åsa Elmstam

* * *

Mr. Yoshiaki Nishimura did the last lecture for the day. He has written several books - one of them is called "Live alive". People told me that his presence was unusual since he is quite popular and rarely gives lectures. His main message was: use your strength and time on the things you love!
He also spoke about how you can affect each other just by being. For example watching the Olympic games on TV makes you want to move and exercise.

100-yen shops are filled with so many things but still they are so empty. As a designer we don't want to do that. Value your feelings and hold on to your personal feelings. If you follow the sustainable trend and don't feel for it you will lose your identity. You have to be sensitive to your own feelings.
You should feel things with your heart instead of thinking with the head - it is better. If you do something that you don't want to do you have to shut off your emotions, and that will lead to bad things.
I believe that doing what you want is probably something that lots of Swedish people are quite good at. Sweden always scores high on "individuality" compared to other nations in studies (like this one where, interestingly, Sweden and Japan are surprisingly "close"
There is a gap between reality and the way reality is advertised. Noodle shop that portrays itself as something that it isn't. That is what I feel like in this country. Everything is a surprise and I cannot have any preconceived ideas of how things will be or, for example, what that restaurant will serve - because it never actually is the way I first thought.

Yoshiaki Nishimura also spoke about art school and how it shapes students. He asked if it is right to continue with design studies? Aren't there better, more useful things to do?
I think it is important for all professionals to always question whether they are making a meaningful contribution to society or not. And I agree that it is depressing that so many people want to study design and that so many new design schools are started.
But the end result and how people use that training is what is most important.

photographed by Åsa Elmstam

Nice sustainable food plates and drinking glasses of bamboo was used during the conference.

* * *

To me it seems as all these lectures are about a future utopia where we might live in new ways. But they all seem to have in common that people should communicate more.
For me Japan has from the beginning been a country of contradictions. It has so many cultural, historic and esthetic values where simplicity and precision is extremely important. (This is well described in, for example, the book "The book of tea" by Okakura Kakuzo.)
And then there is this hysterical Japanese society with plastic gadgets, collective things, which is really hard to grasp and understand. A society filled with contradictions between plastic, commercials etc vs. tradition and simplicity.
And people live somewhere in between...

The second day

The second day of this conference was made up of workshops. We had short lectures mostly from companies that already did something that was connected to some kind of sustainable work. And all of us in the audience were having brainstorming sessions in between the presentations to try to develop their ideas into something even better.

pic_8.jpgphotographed by Åsa Elmstam

The first subject was Shermo (, a web site that works as a meeting place for sharing. Sharing things and sharing economy - they called it SSS - social sharing service. The goods are exchanged between people without money involved just a point system with grades. The people within Japan that need something can borrow it and when he or she doesn't use or need it any more he or she can send it to someone else that wants it. This is a perfect solution for especially books, because you don't need books once you have read them. In this case Shermo works like a library, but even more efficient than a public government run library in many ways. And Shermo is also very good when working with things used for babies (which you often use only for a short while). A big library of things that is run by everybody.
We had a brainstorming session about how Shermo could be a place for other goods or activities.
We thought that it would be better sustainability with smaller units within Japan to avoid sending big packages all over the country and also make it possible to meet face to face. Services could also be a part - exchanging services with each other like gardening, hair cutting, babysitting, Internet training etc.
And to make the webpage in English as well so that newcomers like myself can use it. In the situation I am in - living abroad just for a short while of some months, it would be brilliant to be able to borrow a bike or a baby bed or a baby stroller for a couple of months.
And SherMo is a brilliant idea so it would be great if spreads around the world.

pic_9.jpgphotographed by Åsa Elmstam

In Japan it cost you money to throw thing away. As far as I know there is no place you can go by yourself to throw away big things like furniture. All the rubbish is put out outside your house, and if it is bigger things than household rubbish it cost you extra money.
I believe that garbage sorting and disposal works well in Japan. People actually do as they're supposed to. But a lot more plastic is being used that wouldn't be necessary in the first place.
So then Shermo is a much better way of getting rid of your stuff with a feeling of satisfaction and at the same time someone else gets happy.

About garbage - I think it is such a good solution to put on a fee to throw away your things. It might make people think twice before redecorate their kitchen again... but I guess it wouldn't work anywhere else than in Japan. In Sweden people would just dump their rubbish anywhere instead or burn it themselves.
Another presentation was from a company selling experiences instead of things. They worked mostly in the wedding business. The company is called Sow experience. We had a brainstorming session about what more experiences you could sell. Our suggestion was to have sustainable experiences like living 2 days with no carbon dioxide footprint, using no unnatural things, a 100% carbon dioxide free experience.


A third presentation was about a network that has been started in the countryside, where the people in a village had been involved in organic plantation. And the question for us to discuss was how to reach out in the cities to sell these organic vegetables and how to create networks to connect the different parts - the countryside people and city people.
People were concerned with the differences between countryside and city. That people live so different lives so that it is difficult to connect with each other. Here I can see a big culture difference between Japan and Sweden, and it is hard for me to fully appreciate the problem. I don't think there is the same cultural gap in Sweden between those kinds of lives compared to what it seems to be like here in Japan. The suggestions people had for solutions to connect the two worlds was among other things to make manga (cartoons), which to me was both a bit surprising and strange in this context.


pic_10.jpgphotographed by Åsa Elmstam

Another session was focused on products that can be used in development cooperation. The speaker said that Japan doesn't help as much as other countries. Someone said that Japanese aid still builds things that the people don't use, not a modern system. What can Japan do to better help these countries?
The solution that my group presented was to export the techniques of building with, for example, bamboo to the countries that also have bamboo forests and plantations. That would be a thought through and sustainable version of "don't give fish, teach fishing".
I think you can export thinking methods and mentality as well. So that everybody actually does recycle right.

pic_11.jpgphotographed by Åsa Elmstam


It was a good experience for me to participate at the conference even though I wish I knew Japanese to be able to understand everything right!

Next year's conference
Next year the conference will be held in Yamagata instead. There were 7 men from Yamagata city council to represent the city and to invite everybody to next year's conference, which will be held on 26-27 February. Keep an eye on or send an e-mail to secretariat to get more information.



Objective and Theme

With an idea, "Environmental problems in our planet should be tackled with basis of solving social issues", we have come to organize "The International Conference of Design for Sustainability" 3 years ago.
This conference is a part of challenge to commit on a project called sustainable design, which is to materialize an idea of sustainable society with multi-perspectives - eco design and social design.

The very 1st conference, Destination 2006-2026, created a framework of sustainable design, and the 2nd conference, Destination 2007-2025, visualized details and projections of a goal -- what a sustainable society would be like. The 3rd conference, Destination 2008-2024, put designers, who are to take initiatives on this project, to an initiating point.

The 4th conference, Destination 2009-2023, is to be held with a theme of "social innovation-ing" by reporting activities in the past and reconfirm the direction of sustainability.

When the first conference was held, we had our time limit to the goal to be 20 years later. Since we've set the limit to narrow down twice the speed, we must achieve a sustainable society in 14 years now. This time frame signifies that not much time is left for us. With a hope that innovations turn into revolutions, let's commit and act towards design of sustainable society.

Theme ; Social Innovation-ing

An idea of sustainability, which is to optimize volume of consumption and production activities by reducing their excesses, in the midst of modern civilization -- to name a few consequences, climate change and shortage of resources in our planet-- is one of the biggest challenges that a human being faces now.

But at this moment, its solution is excessively focused on to the reduction of a greenhouse gas emission. Though it is an activity for good, it is not smart to consider that such effort is regarded as a primary concern. This misleading goal draws a conflict on people's interest and will not be sustainable overall.

Alternatively, we need to show the society that a world and lifestyle with low concentration of CO2 is "a natural state for a human being to live" and at the same time, such environment is refreshing and soothing.
By inducing people that reduction of an excessive consumption will lead to an ultimate lifestyle, the society will take initiatives to change.
No matter how much technological innovation advances in the future, one can't reduce the CO2 emission while expanding consumption of resources and energy. It has been proved over a past decade of Japan's effort.

A tool, called design can be very effective and powerful to establish a relationship between improvement of social problems and the environmental issues. During the 20th century, design has been exploited, unintentionally, to worsen the environment and created new social problems. In another words, design was used to establish a totally opposite relationship. Now, after a decade of failure, we need to prove that design can be used to function as it is supposed to be - to create a better society in the upcoming future.



The 4th International Conference of Design for Sustainability
"Destination 2009-2023"


March 13th and 14th, 2010 (Sat and Sun)


[March 13th]
Kuwasawa Design School
1-4-17 jinnan shibuya-ku Tokyo Japan, 150-0041
TEL. +81- 3-3463-2431 URL.

[March 14th]
Tokyo Midtown Design Hub, International Design Liaison Center
5F Midtown Tower, 9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo Japan 107-6205
TEL. +81-3-6743-3776 URL.


social innovation-ing


13th ; JPY5000 (Students JPY2000)
14th ; JPY5000 (Students JPY2000)

*without reception party fee


13th ; 200 per.
14th ; 80 per.


Japanese-English taranslating


Designer, Corporate design section, Environmental protection section, Product and product development section, Management strategy section, Student who learns design and environment, NGO, NPO, and civic group in design and environmental field


Executive Committee for International Conference of Design for Sustainability


The Educational Foundation Kuwasawa Gakuen
(Tokyo ZOKEI University, Graduate school of Tokyo Zokei University, KUWASAWA Design School)


AMITA Corporation
INAX Corporation
Winroader Co., Ltd.
Association for Creating Sustainability in Urban Development of the Otemachi Marunouchi Yurakucho District Redevelopment
the Tohoku University of Art and Design, Institute of Design Philosophy
Hitachi, Ltd.
Brother Industries, Ltd.
mos environmental design inc.
YAMATAKE Corporation

Individual's Sponsors

Shigeru TANAKA/DEN&A Inc.

and 2 Anonymities


Ministry of the Environment
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry/METI
Tokyo Metropolitan Government
Osaka Prefectural Government
The Japan Environmental Management Association for Industry/JEMAI
The Organization of Advertising Creation/OAC
Japan Industrial Designers' Association/JIDA
Japan Interior Designers' Association/JID
Japan Craft Design Association/JCDA
Japan Graphic Designers Association/JAGDA
Japan Sign Design Association/JSDA
Japan Jewellery designers Association/JJDA
Japan Display Design Association/DDA
Japan Package Design Association/JPDA
Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization/JIDPO
Green Map Japan, Inc.
NPO Bicycle Ecology Japan
NPO The Millenniumcity
Tama Art University
University of Tsukuba
Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo
Graduate School of Environmental Studies,Tohoku University
Machida Hiroko Academy
Ritsumeikan University, Integrated Institute for Arts and Science
International Conference for Univeersal Design/IAUD
Japanese Society for the Science of Design/JSSD
Japan Institute of Design
Nature Technology Research Consortium
Universal Design Consortium/UDC
o2 Global Network Foundation
o2 Japan


PechaKucha - devised by shared by Kline Dytham architecture
LLP EcoDesign Instiute
LLP Sustainable Projects

Program of 13th

13th, March, 2010 [Sat] 10:00〜18:00 (open door 9:30)

Keynote Lectures "Social Innovation Forum"

Venue : Kuwasawa Design School 1F Hall map :
Chairman : Fumi MASUDA - Professor of Tokyo Zokei University, Board member of Executive Committee for International Conference of Design for Sustainability - profile



an open address

Kazuyuki Oda
- Chairman of The Educational Foundation Kuwasawa Gakuen

Part 1 : What Social Innovation is?

Keynote Lecture
Alex Kerr

- profile

-Recent Areas of Interest (in place of an abstract)
In recent decades, the large impact of public works projects has changed the landscape of Japan. Even historical areas have not been able to escape damage. However, in order to deal with the decreasing and aging population that has resulted from postwar industrialization, regional rural areas have been left with no choice but to depend on public works.
Also, while tourism has developed into a global industry, Japan's economic emphasis on manufacturing delayed its entrance into the tourism industry, and only in recent years has Japan finally set its sights on expanding tourism. With depopulation in regional areas reaching a crisis level, efforts have commenced to promote tourism.
In order to face such circumstances, we founded Iori Co., a business that restores and puts to use traditional townhouses called machiya. By providing tourism-related consultation and developing the tourism business, Iori is making a contribution to the rejuvenation of regional Japan. This year, we are planning development projects for the town of Ojika in Nagasaki Prefecture, the city of Gojo in Nara Pref., and the city of Nagahama in Shiga Pref.

Q and A

12:00〜14:00 Lunch Break [ Lunch spot map coming soon]

Part 2 : For Practice Social Innovation


Lecture 1
"Toward Social Innovation"


President of AMITA Corporation
- profile

Sustainable design is an endeavor to create a social system founded on the coexistence of human dignity and the global environment. However, it is not merely the manifestation of design philosophies, such as EcoDesign or Universal Design, which focus on environmentally and people-friendly "things" or "systems." We believe in designing visual memories by using perceptions based on intellectual knowledge and sensory feeling and also in designing spaces that inspire sympathetic feelings of interconnectedness. These two approaches must be synthesized into a formless style of community design.


Lecture 2

"Changing Perspectives from 'Recycling' to 'Secondary Resources' "

- CEO of Sasugasouzoushuudan co., ltd.
- profile

Currently, if we were to properly collect the metals already available within cities, melt them down and reuse them as a new resource, we could meet the demand for iron for the next 11 years without having to mine any iron ore. Or in the case of aluminum, which does not rust, we could get by without mining any more bauxite. Also, the majority amounts of other metals, whose mines have been nearly completely exhausted, can apparently be found within cities as well.
As the population has migrated from rural to urban areas, we have arrived at an age where our resources are now centered in cities. However, the mining and steel industries still exist, therefore so does the serious problem of the necessity of protecting the old employment structure of heavy industry. In art and design, it is precisely in cities where numerous works have been created by daring to seek out beauty among the crowded masses.
Industry may be tend to lag behind the times, but through creating a movement, together with municipal resource development agencies, we will see the time come when we can properly reuse the resources that are locked away inside our cities. The greatest obstacle to this is things from the past, the emotional barrier related to old things and the industrial world's structure, which is based on the idea of maintaining the status quo. It is important to deal with things from the past in a new way, to make old things to be new. The future holds great possibilities for this kind of a new industry and a clean business.

16:00〜16:20 Coffee Break


Lecture 3
"Living Alive?"
- Planning Director - profile

If you take a look around, everything that you see with your eyes, wear on your body, or hear with your ears is the result of someone's work. In our society, we are continually coming into contact with another person's work, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. So what kind of impact does that work have on each of us as individuals? What exactly are we exchanging through all of this work? What is it that disappoints us and what fulfills us?


Part 3 : Conclusion

Fumi MASUDA Professor of Tokyo Zokei University, Board member of Executive Committee for International Conference of Design for Sustainability - profile


After the forum, there are the reception party, "The International Conference of Design for Sustainability x PechaKucha"!

Program of 14th

14th, March, 2010 [Sat] 10:00〜18:00 (open door 9:30)

Section Meetings "Social Innovation x Design"

Venue : Tokyo Midtown Design Hub, International Design Liaison Center
map :

Chairman :
Fumi MASUDA - Professor of Tokyo Zokei University, Board member of Executive Committee for International Conference of Design for Sustainability - profile
Adviser :
Teruo KUROSAKI - CEO of Sasugasouzoushuudan co., ltd.,
Yoshiaki NISHIMURA - Planning Director




Session 1 "Locality and Agriculture x Design"

Presenter : Chie NAKAHARA - InakaGaisha TokyoShiten - profile

Facilitator : Kazutoshi TSUDA -Ph.D. Specially Appointed Researcher, On-site Research Center for Sustainability Design, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University
- profile

12:00〜13:30 Lunch Break [ Lunch spot map coming soon]


Session 2 "Sharing x Design"

Presenter - profile

Facilitator : Keigo Honda - Product designer, a Instructor of Kuwasawa Design School - profile

15:20〜15:40 Coffee Break


Session 3 "Networking x Design"

Presenter : Takuto Motomura - Granma Inc., CEO - profile

Facilitator : Yoshiharu Sakai - the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization (JIDPO) - profile


Closing Session "Towards Destination 2010 - 2022"



After the forum, we have a reception party "The International Conference of Design for Sustainability x PechaKucha".
If you have interest to having presentation about your activity, please contact to us!


  • Suitendo
  • Re-arise Project - Tamihito Takashima / President of Winroader co.,ltd
  • Eco-Design Materials - Yohei Shimazu / LLP Sustainable Projects
  • Magno and Agro-forestry - Singgih S Kartono, Mie Suzuki

PechaKucha - devised by shared by Kline Dytham architecture

Presenter Profile

lecturer_AlexKerr1.jpglecturer_AlexKerr2.jpgAlex Kerr
Chairman of Iori Co., Ltd. Researcher of Eastern Culture.

Born in 1952 in Maryland, USA. In 1964, he came to Japan with his family ifor the first tine, and lived in Yokohama. Graduating Yale University and Oxford University in UK, majoring Japanese studies and Chinese studies respectively, he came back in 1977 to live in Kameoka, Kyoto. Ever since, he has been involved in the East Asian Traditional Culture,. In 2004, he founded Iori Company based in Kyoto that restores traditional old town houses and consults on regional development. Published "Lost Japan" (Shinchosha. 1993. Won Shincho-Gakugeisho), Dogs and Demons (Kodansha, 2002), Bangkok Found (River Books, 2009)

lecturer_kumano.jpglecturer_kumano2.jpgEisuke KUMANO
Amita Corporation
Representative Director and President & CEO

Mr. Kumano was born in 1956 in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. He joined Sumieito Kosan Co., Ltd. (currently Amita Corporation) in April 1979 and has been Representative Director since November 1993.
Pursuing the goal of achieving a sustainable society, he initiated a business of material-recycling before any of Amita's competitors. In 2005, he founded the Amita Institute for Sustainable Economies (AISE) and in 2007 he established the Shinrin no Bokujo open range and dairy farm, also known as La prairie de la forêt [The meadow of the forest]. The company is broadening its business range as a provider of total environmental solutions. Currently, he is a board member of the Global Compact Board Japan, a part-time lecturer at Tohoku University, and the chairperson of both the Shinrai Shihon Zaidan and the Earth Design School, a Japanese NPO. His books include Shikou suru kanpanii [New Company Design] (published by Gentosha) and Shizen sangyou no seki [Century of the Nature Industry] (published by Soshinsha and AISE).
Amita Holdings Co., Ltd.

lecturer_kurosaki.jpgTeruo KUROSAKI
Sasugasouzoushuudan Co., Ltd.

Mr. Kurosaki was born in Tokyo in 1949 and graduated from Waseda University, Dept. of Physics and Dept. of Applied Physics. After working as an importer and seller of antique furniture, he established IDEE and is broadly developing it as a business for cultural lifestyles centered on the theme of "Quest for Life." It involves both sales planning for original furniture as well as domestic and international designer productions. In addition, he is continually engaging in the creation of urban landscapes through endeavors such as the Tokyo Designers Block and the R-project. In 2005, he founded Sasugasouzoushuudan Co., Ltd. In September of 2005, he opened Schooling-Pad as a new place of learning within the Ikejiri Institue of Design (IID), which was built out of an abandoned middle school. In June 2006, he began conducting courses at Freedom University, which offers a free environment of teaching and learning. He is also a culture advisor at United Nations University.
Kurotero Blog

lecturer_Nishimura.jpglecturer_Nishimura2.jpgYoshiaki NISHIMURA
Living World
Planning Director/Representative Director

Mr. Nishimura was born 1964 in Tokyo and graduated from Musashino Art University. He is involved in three types of work: creating, writing, and teaching. He is the Representative Director of Living World, a design office primarily involved in community design. He is currently a part-time lecturer at Tama Art University. Some of his books as a researcher include Jibun no shigoto wo tsukuru [Make your work!] (published by Shobunsha/Chikumashobo), Jibun wo ikashite ikiru [live alive?] (published by basilico), Jibun no shigoto wo kangaeru mikkakan 1 [Think about your work for 3 days, vol. 1] (published by Koubundou).
Living World

lecturer_Masuda.jpgFumikazu MASUDA
Professor, Tokyo Zokei University (industrial design & sustainable projects major)
President, open house inc.
Representative, o2 Japan

Fumi Masuda was born in 1949 at Tokyo, Japan.After he graduated from Tokyo Zokei University, he has worked for a housing industry and a design firm before setting his own office as an independent industrial designer in 1978.
For the first half of his career, he has worked mainly on projects for major Japanese industries, including electric home appliances, electronic devices, audio visual equipments, transportations, packages and many other products from various deferent categories. The latter half of his career has been dedicated more to work for local SMEs as a design consultant. He also started teaching at Universities and design schools in late 1980's. Since 1989, he has been collaborating with o2, a worldwide network of environmentally conscious designers. Besides working on research projects on "design for sustainability", he is always trying to apply the philosophy and the method to his practical daily works.He is hosting "The International Conference of Design for Sustainability since 2006.He is currently specialized in design for sustainability including eco-design, universal design and Kid's design.
Board member; Japan design consultant association,
Jury of Good Design Awards since 1988,
Jury of Kid's Design Awards since 2007.
open house inc.

[14th Presentation Profiles]

Chisato Nakahara
Director, Inaka Gaisha Tokyo Shiten

Title: Community Trade that Comes from the Farm
Out of her concern for issues such as poverty and class inequality, Ms. Nakahara, currently a fourth year law student at Keio University, sought out how to tackle these problems on the domestic front where they were closest to her, so she interned at Ryokan Yoshidaya during the summer vacation of her third year at university. Half of the business of Ryokan Yoshidaya is management of a traditional Japanese-style inn, and the other half uses farming to try to cope with problems faced by rural areas. After that, looking for ways to continue such activities in Tokyo, she gathered a handful of students and started the Inaka Gaisha Tokyo Shiten (which means "Rural Company, Tokyo Branch"), an organization which works to connect rural and urban areas. She is currently the director.

Takuto Motomura
President and CEO, Granma

Title: TBA
After completing high school, Mr. Motomura (born 28 April, 1984) started a temp agency in Aichi Prefecture. After gaining a year of business experience, his interest in business intensified, so he went on to fulfill his plans and study for a year in New York. While studying abroad, he traveled to Dhaka in Bangladesh and the African continent, the land of human origins. After experiencing this first-hand look into the fundamental benefits and burdens of capitalism, he turned his gaze to the market comprised of people earning less than 3000 dollars a year, known as the Base of the Pyramid (BOP). Going on-site to observe the underlying needs of people living in such conditions, he established a business that deals with products, from development through distribution, that create new jobs and are also priced profitably yet appropriately for the consumer. In April 2009, he founded Granma Inc. Along with creating CSR-related website and movie contents to support companies' branding and promotions, Granma is also undertaking marketing activities specifically geared to the BOP.

Tak Nishimura
President and CEO, Sow Experience Inc.

Title: TBA
Mr. Nishimura (born in 1981 in Tokyo) won a business plan contest sponsored by Panasonic while still a student in the Economics Department of Keio University. This made him eligible to receive a 30 million yen capital investment, but his project was later canceled. In 2005, he established Sow Experience Inc., a company that sells experiences as gifts. He also teaches "Future Work" at the Ikejiri Institute of Design's Freedom University.

[Facilitator Profiles]

Yoshiharu Sakai
Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization

Mr. Sakai (born in Hiroshima in 1973) graduated from Tokyo Zokei University. In 1997 he began working at the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization and was placed in charge of business operations of the Good Design Award following the system's privatization. He is currently working together with local governments in Tokyo and other areas on construction and implementation of design-related programs and also on collaborations with Asian countries. He is also in charge of planning exhibitions at the Tokyo Midtown Design Hub.

Keigo Honda
Full-Time Instructor of Project Design at Kuwasawa Design School

After graduating from Tokyo Zokei University in 1996 and then working in the product planning and development department of an outdoor goods manufacturer, Mr. Honda (born 1974) became a full-time instructor of project design at Kuwasawa Design School. He is also the head of Honda Keigo Design, which plans and designs everyday and leisure goods. Focusing on partnerships with small and medium businesses, his specialties include the development of products that utilize local technologies. He also continues his activities to incorporate methods of Sustainable Design and Eco Design into product design by organizing workshops and other events. He has received the Good Design Award several times, won numerous product design competitions, and is a full member of the Japan Industrial Designers' Association.

Kazutoshi Tsuda
President, Suitendo

Specially Appointed Researcher, On-site Research Center for Sustainability Design, Osaka University Graduate School of Engineering
Mr. Tsuda (born in Shinjo village, Okayama in 1981) completed his master's and then received his doctorate from the Division of Diversity and Fractal Science at the Chiba University Graduate School of Science and Technology. In November 2008, he took a post as a specially appointed researcher at the On-site Research Center for Sustainability Design under the auspices of the Graduate School of Engineering at Osaka University. He is currently a part-time lecturer at Chiba University and the Alumni Association Director of the United Nations University Summer School for Bird's-eye View Experts on Environment. He runs Suitendo as a place where people can share diverse viewpoints in order to paint a more specific picture of sustainable living. He specializes in resource circulation and Sustainable Design.


  • Please send a E-mail or Fax to us with following informations.
  • Application forms will be accepted till 28 of February 2010. Its on the first-come-first-served basis.
  • The Fee is required at the door or we accept Bank Transfer. (For bank information, please see bottom of this page)

Registration Form

Please send a E-mail to us with these informations.

  1. Registration Category ; Please choose your category from following contents.
    • Individual - only 13th : 5000 JPY
    • Individual - only 14th : 5000 JPY
    • Individual - 13th and 14th : 10000 JPY
    • Student - only 13th : 2000 JPY
    • Student - only 14th : 2000 JPY
    • Student - 13th and 14th : 4000 JPY
  2. Name
  3. Affiliation
  4. Address
  5. E-mail address
  6. Tel.
  7. Fax.
  8. How do you know about this conferenece?
  9. notes (if you have something comment)

Bank Transfer information
  • Bank Name : Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
  • Branch Name : Hamamatucho
  • Account Number : 7246480
  • Account Name : Sasutenaburudezainkokusaikaigijikkouiinnkai

Sponsors and Supporters

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AMITA Corporation INAX Corporation Winroader Co., Ltd.
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Association for Creating Sustainability in Urban Development of the Otemachi Marunouchi Yurakucho District Redevelopment the Tohoku University of Art and Design, Institute of Design Philosophy Hitachi, Ltd.
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Brother Industries, Ltd. mos environmental design inc. YAMATAKE Corporation


Individual's Sponsors

Shigeru TANAKA/DEN&A Inc.
and 2 Anonymities


Ministry of the Environment Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry/METI
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Tokyo Metropolitan Government Osaka Prefectural Government
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The Japan Environmental Management Association for Industry/JEMAI The Organization of Advertising Creation/OAC Japan Industrial Designers' Association/JIDA
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Japan Interior Designers' Association/JID Japan Craft Design Association/JCDA Japan Graphic Designers Association/JAGDA
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Japan Sign Design Association/JSDA Japan Jewellery designers Association/JJDA Japan Display Design Association/DDA
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Japan Package Design Association/JPDA Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization/JIDPO
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Green Map Japan, Inc. NPO Bicycle Ecology Japan NPO The Millenniumcity
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Tama Art University University of Tsukuba Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo

Graduate School of Environmental Studies,Tohoku University Machida Hiroko Academy Ritsumeikan University, Integrated Institute for Arts and Science
International Conference for Univeersal Design/IAUD Japanese Society for the Science of Design/JSSD Japan Institute of Design
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Nature Technology Research Consortium Universal Design Consortium/UDC o2 Global Network Foundation
o2 Japan


PechaKucha - devised by shared by Kline Dytham architecture LLP EcoDesign Instiute LLP Sustainable Projects

Call for Supporters

Unede Constructing