The Relationship between Region and Design
Our school considers regional characteristics and design education to be an essential relationship today and has prepared a program of regional cooperation subjects and projects. In particular, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s “Project for Universities as Drivers of Regional Revitalization through New Human Resources Education Programs” focuses on the development of regional human resources. By developing a curriculum of design management as a common subject for all departments in the Faculty of Design, we are fostering not only design skills but also fostering design thinking ability as a management resource and developing human resources who can play an active role in the local community.
The “Kibi no Mori” Creation Strategy Project: Aiming to Nurture Weed-Type Human Resources
Both Year 4 students and graduate students are creating a future concept for the prefectural university campus as an environmental design exercise under the collaborative guidance of three faculties (Faculty of Health and Welfare, Faculty of Information Engineering, and Faculty of Design). Basically, the purpose of the exercise is to evaluate the virtual reality image of the conceptual plan as a deliverable. The graduate students go one step further and conduct technology development and design development within the campus concept according to the theme given by a local company and evaluate their virtual concepts by implementing them in practical tasks in the real world.
One such project is the aforementioned [“Kibi-no-Mori” Creation Strategy Project: Aiming to Nurture Weed-Type Human Resources], which was adopted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) under the “Project for Universities as Drivers of Regional Revitalization through New Human Resources Education Programs”. The project is a new minor that combines programs in various fields and interdisciplinary education that transcends the boundaries of the fields and is offered by the university, the local community, and companies in an integrated manner. The project aims to nurture “weed leaders”, human resources with high expertise and broad skills who can respond to the diverse environments of the future society. The project consists of three programs: “Forest that contributes to food, nutrition and health” for the Faculty of Health and Welfare, “Forest that contributes to local ICT technology” for the Faculty of Information Technology, and “Forest that contributes to Forests, Architecture and Craftsmanship” for the Faculty of Design.
Forest that contributes to Forests, Architecture and Craftsmanship
The “Forest that contributes to Forests, Architecture and Craftsmanship” program is not an imaginary place, but a program in which students uncover the potential appeal of the place they studied and designed it specifically as a futuristic campus while utilizing their knowledge of forests, wood, ground, and structure. This program aims to foster designers who can create comfortable living environments by taking advantage of the climate of Okayama, one of Japan’s leading timber-producing regions, and specifically to develop weed-type leaders through this program.
- Acquire the ability to integrate in a well-balanced manner (design skills) the knowledge and skills related to wood as a material for wooden construction, the forest environment in which wood is produced, the ground that supports the forest, and the wooden structural design techniques and carpentry techniques for building on the ground.
- Students take environmental study subjects such as forest ecology and geotechnical engineering, which are necessary for handling wood as a material for wooden construction. From Year 4, while working on exercises that integrate various materials (wood, textiles, ceramics), which are mainly conducted in the School of Design, Year 4 students, graduate students, and students from other schools collaborated on environmental projects that set the stage for activities in Maniwa City which is one of the leading lumber-producing areas in western Japan, in response to themes proposed by companies cooperating in the project.