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Cover

AXIS Vol.139

2009 May - June
Cover Photographer: Yoshiaki Tsutsui
Feature
Feature

Design as adrenalin

Take a look around and you’ll see nothing but statements deploring the state of the world today. The force that will liberate us from such hard times is design itself. Once, there were countries that realized economic revitalization through promoting “creativity,” and there are cases where tottering companies have become reborn thanks to design. In this feature we introduce cases where design or design thought functions as a kind of adrenalin that invigorates society and changes it in a positive direction. Although it’s “for society,” it’s not done on a volunteer basis. These are cases with the potential to create new business.

Cover Interview
Cover Interview

Masayo Ave

It has been 19 years since Masayo Ave moved to Europe. At present she resides in Berlin and serves as Professor at Estonian Academy of Arts. “Since my background is architecture, I’m an ‘unlicensed driver’ in product design.” Despite this humble self image, requests for her workshops are unending, and as dean of a university she is pouring effort into a Master’s program. We talked with her about design education and the power of the imagination.

Opinion 2009
Opinion 2009

Valerie Casey

The Designers Accord is an organization where designers can ask questions and give opinions about “sustainability,” discuss issues and lend their cooperation in order to deepen knowledge and find optimal solutions. Rather than proclaiming “sustainability and ecology” in an attempt to do business, their idea is to start with an understanding of sustainability and link it to design methodology. Today, the Designers Accord has 150,000 members from over 100 nations. We talked with Valerie Casey, IDEO designer and founder of the Designers Accord.

Traditional Craft Forms
Traditional Craft Forms

Katazome—Japanese stencil dyeing

Katazome refers to a fabric dyeing technique using patterned stencils or a kimono fabric dyed using such stencils. Since making the stencil involves elaborate processes, it is generally left to dedicated stencil artisans, but Mitsuko Ogura of Ogura Dyeing Pattern Atelier handles everything from drawing pattern designs to creating stencils and dyeing fabrics. The resulting unique world of expression is possible only through such integrated work.

The future of technology and design
The future of technology and design

Will a slime mold robot that unravels the mystery of the mechanism of intelligence emerge?

As a follow-up to our previous issue, we introduce research that’s opening up the frontiers of a new paradigm in science with slime mold. We visited Assistant Professor Toshiyuki Nakagaki of Hokkaido University and Professor Akio Ishiguro of Tohoku University and asked about their attempts to explore the relationship between information processing and the physical mechanism of living things by mathematically modeling the movements of slime mold and using that knowledge in such applications as controlling robots.