Design Academia - 国公立デザイン系大学会議

Responding to an Ever-Changing Society

Akita University of Art was established as an arts and crafts school by Akita City in 1952, and has since grown from a vocational school to a junior college, before becoming a four-year university in 2013. This year marks the eighth anniversary of the opening of the University, which has a long history of about 70 years, and has innovated its educational system in accordance with each era. With the advent of the information society, society’s structure continues to change at an accelerated pace, through activities that transcend various fields and domains. In order to break free from the stereotypes and ties of the past and adapt to the openness of society, faculty members with various specializations are working together to build an educational curriculum based on the idea of “education that responds to an ever-changing society”. In this way, the University has since its opening continued to take on the challenge of creating new artistic fields.

The University consists of one faculty with one department and five majors. These are not based on the traditional classification of painting, sculpture, craft, and design, but on five “ways of thinking” that respond to society. The faculty for each major are arranged in a cross-disciplinary manner based on their respective major’s way of thinking. There is no independent major for design. For example, the Creative Manufacturing Design major has a faculty structure that combines six craft areas, spatial & product design, and social design. We continue to explore and practice new forms of education to address the essential question, “What should the next generation of creative manufacturing be like?”

The five unique majors work together to provide cross-disciplinary education and cultivate broad thinking about various societal factors (culture, politics, economy, environment, ideology, etc.) and their relationship to art and design. We aim to produce human resources who will be able to see the world’s future trends from a bird’s eye view and develop new areas of study that are not bound by traditional fields.