Design Academia - 国公立デザイン系大学会議

"The 1st Association of Design Departments and Schools in Japanese Public Universities Conference" Part 2

Click here to read the 1st Association of Design Departments and Schools in Japanese Public Universities Conference report article (first part)

Second part (latter half) Discussion

After the case study, it was followed by a discussion on several topics of interest surrounding university design studies, the challenges faced by the universities, the example of success, discussions on what to expect in the future, and the possible themes for the conference in the future. Below are some of the topics.

Creating a new organization

Future University Hakodate   Looking at the case studies, the direction of reorganization at all universities is similar. When I look at the universities overseas, I feel that each university is unique, not only in terms of design education. Maybe the purpose may be discussed more.

Okayama Prefectural University  Currently, our reorganization is planned to increase the number of departments, which is contrary to the overall trend. One of the main reasons is that we are worried that many students will not be able to achieve their “plans” unless they have a solid foundation in “making”.


Decrease in basic art education during the educational process up to university entrance

University of Tsukuba  At the era of ‘education with less pressure’, the time for art has been reduced in the junior high and high school classes, while the time for physical education has increased with the increasing number of subjects such as dance. In the future, there is a possibility that the mindset of design can be cultivated not only in art but also in the various subject — for example, learning graph expressions in mathematics, or learning about universal design in Japanese. The problem is that in Japan, teachers have been teaching by subjects. They are not trained to handle comprehensive education. In the future, to incorporate design education into subject education, design education is necessary for the teacher training course.

 Nagaoka Institute of Design The reason why the students are not able to make things is not that they lack the ability, but it is a problem with the education system. Some studies have shown that, because of the unique characteristics of current students, they are familiar with games and have good dynamic visual acuity. Perhaps we can design the education program that taps on these skills.


How to evaluate design studies?

Chiba University In the past, knowledge in design studies has come from borrowing from other fields such as natural science. I feel that it is time to build up our own “knowledge” in the design field.

Shizuoka University of Art and Culture  In the undergraduate education, the curriculum emphasizes on “making by hands”, and in the graduate education, the curriculum emphasizes on “verbalizing by hand”, meaning to explain their thoughts and design.

Kagawa University  We are in the second year of the reorganization of the Faculty of Engineering to become the Faculty of Engineering and Design. There are fields on engineering, product design and media design, and we are examining the evaluation method to use for the graduation project. A graduation thesis is usually used for engineering, but I believe a graduation work or report may be more appropriate?

University of Tsukuba Listening to the discussions on past subject integration and lower year education, it feels new and old. The University of Tsukuba has been recruiting a wide range of students from art history to architecture and has been conducting basic education for all freshmen for 45 years. Of course, it is difficult to evaluate. Still, in terms of graduation research, I assess the work in three major ways: physical outcome, physical outcome (major) with a paper (minor), and paper (major) with a physical outcome (minor).


How design education relates to the community?

Akita University of Art  Unlike urban areas, Akita is still often thought of as “design = creating logos and souvenirs”. It is in the stage of communicating to the community how to engage in designs at the initiate design process phrase.

Tokyo Metropolitan University  Despite being referred to as Tokyo Metropolitan, we often work on a variety of projects rooted in regional characteristics, such as the Tama district, Shibuya ward, and Koto ward.Students are taught to aim for the top designers while working on local issues with global perspectives to solve local issue. For example, Ars Electronica, which is leading the world’s most advanced media arts, originated in solving problems in the city of Linz. I think that for regional issues to be eventually connected to the world, we need to enhance our ability to discover problems.

Toyama University  It is common to receive consultations from small and medium-sized enterprises in the region. The critical thing when receiving them is whether the faculty they work with has a global orientation (universalization) or a local (specialization). It is crucial to find out and match with the area.

Aichi University of the Arts  Students should not regard university period as a steppingstone to the work force; instead, be “irresponsible” and use the time during university education to explore. In some cases, the irresponsible and free-thinking of students, in a sense, led to breakthroughs in rigid small and medium-sized enterprises and led to loans from banks. There is a very interesting phenomenon. We have oil painting and sculpture students, other than design students, participating in the project. The companies are fascinated by the unconventional thinking of the fine art students and want to work with them on the project. I think that the value of having an artistic sensibility may be more valued.


1st Association of Design Departments and Schools in Japanese Public Universities Conference
[Date]October 5th, 2019 (Saturday) 13:30 – 17:00
[Venue]Tokyo Midtown, Design Hub International, Design Liaison Center 

1. Opening remarks
Masakazu Tani (Kyushu University Faculty of Design)

2 Guest greeting
Mr Akira Tamagami (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology – Japan, Deputy Director-General)
Mr Takuya Kikuchi (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry / Service Group, Cool Japan Policy Division Assistant Manager / Design Policy Office Assistant Manager)

3. Agenda
Part 1: About the administration of society
Part 2: About design education (case introduction)

4. Discussion
Chair: Masahiro Kiyosumi (President, Center for Designed Futures, Kyushu University)

[Operation Manager]
Kyushu University Faculty of Design
Kyushu University Center for Designed Futures

Japan Institute of Design Promotion