Think about Design on the South Island
The Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts, established in 1986, is the southernmost public art university in Japan, headquartered in Shuri, Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture. There are two faculties – Music and, Art and Craft (including Bachelor, Master and Doctoral program), and a Research Institute that consists of three departments.
At the Faculty of Arts and Crafts and the Graduate School of Formative Art, you will learn painting, sculpture, art studies, design, and crafts (weaving, dyeing, ceramics, lacquering). The design major takes pride in the unique culture of Okinawa Prefecture, located at the southern end of Japan. We aim to nurture individuals who can understand the current issues of design, skilled in advanced information technology with a future orientation, and have international perspectives, through collaboration with local economies, industries and cultural activities, and fundamental research on tradition and craft.
Self-Directed Selection of Curriculum
In the design major, the curriculum is organized so that students can select classes according to their choices from the various design fields. The barriers of their specialized field were removed.
In the first year, students learn the basics of design, develop awareness as a learner of design, and develop drawing and composition skills through basic modeling. In the second year, students research on design equipment and materials through group research, and in the third year, they learn about the social role as a designer through the design of public goods, etc. In the second and third years, students can select from the following six fields and participate in specialized practical training, exercises and lectures.
- Life Design: Practical learning about the development and improvement of equipment and devices such as life tools.
- Industrial Design: Learning about product planning through information, production and distribution.
- Environmental Design: Practical learning of the various interior decorations and spaces design for public spaces.
- Graphic Design: Learn about layout, illustration, lettering, etc. through advertising and signage planning.
- Editorial Design: Learn how to communicate through editorial planning and picture book production.
- Video Design: Learn about video expression with a focus on photography, video and CG.
Besides studying the basics and applications of design extensively, sometimes we designed teaching materials based on the local community. For example, at the end of the second year, we have the “Design and Planning of Regional Specialty Product Development”. We surveyed the municipalities and organizations and getting their cooperation to plan for specialty products (including products, events, and building designs). Then, we develop a design brief according to the company’s needs and site condition to come out with concepts on a product, space or environment design.
Furthermore, in the third year, we have the internship (corporate training system) that is positioned as the point of contact with the real world, the connection between industry and academia. We encourage students to apply for it so that through learning, they can contribute back to society.
After that, in the fourth year, students pursuing their personal qualities as a designer through individual graduation work. Through the process in the four years, the students acquired all the skills required for a designer, for example, market research methods, ways to get support from society, and presentation of plans.