Osamu Sakura (Japan), Toshiharu Itoh (Japan)

Life and Design, seeking insight

Osamu Sakura, from the School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies of Tokyo University and the art historian and information scientist Toshiharu Itoh engaged in a very thought provoking dialogue exploring how understandings in life sciences could impact the design discourse.
True to the conference ambiguous heading <quality of information>/<jouhou no bi> the presentation covered not only findings on how genetic information is generated, stored and transformed but also speculations on biologically encoded aesthetic principles of the evolution of forms.
Showing examples of the evolution of human artifacts through the centuries, such as knife and fork, Osamu Sakura explained the more complex workings in biology. The outlined relationships between environment, 'phenotypes' and 'replicators', inspired the audience to re-think design processes adopting this new vocabulary. Toshiharu Itoh pointed at the concept of 'super-systems' which claim that development patterns of life can be equally found in the evolvement of cultures, societies, human dwellings, and artifacts.
The realization, that evolution in genetic information directly affects the genesis of form, lead to the concluding appeal to the two disciplines represented on stage: life sciences need to expand their understanding of 'quality', giving 'bi' equal importance. Designers should complement their aesthetic competence with meta-design expertise, how to design design. (AS)

Takuya Onuki (Japan)

Simply Mass-produced Simplicity

Onuki Takuya talked through a thorough and well thought out presentation of his work as a creative director of advertising commercials (CMs). From his premise that most people today are not interested in advertisements and that the average consumer is in fact not stupid, Takuya went on to show his method of working around and with those beliefs. He follows a set of six rules every time he approaches a project: stand out, be conspicuous; be fresh and exciting; be simple and quickly understood; advocate the image or 'color' of the client; work with products that 'sizzle'; and work with products in motion. Takuya believes in the power of the first impression, and these six rules help him to attract, intrigue, excite the 'gut feeling' of the consumer all within a few seconds of time. To illustrate his point he showed several excellent, captivating and amusing examples: Nissin's "Hungry? Cup Noodle" campaign, Pepsi Cola's Pepsi Man, CC Lemon and the American animation 'The Simpsons', Kirin Lager Beer, Toshimaen Amusement Park, Laforet Grand Bazaar In closing, he shared more advice: Not being conspicuous makes you stand out. Make it simple. Behind this concept lies a serious understanding of the situation, but visualized in a simple manner. So simple it makes the commercial appear simple. That is the secret to Takuya's success. (RZ)

Writer:Kosuke Ikehata/Norimitsu Korekata/Junko Sakamoto/Nobuko Shimuta/Naoko Hasegawa/Osamu Hisanaga/Sakurako Muto/Naho Yoshioka/Maggie Hohle/Helmut Langer/Nicole Rechia/Andreas Schneider/Trysh Wahlig/Gitte Waldman/Robert Zolna
Photographer:Yoshimitsu Asai/Yasuhiko Katsuta/Fumihiko Mizutani