Disability and the Future of Work – IoT and Fab Project
Disability and the Future of Work – IoT and Fab Project, conducted by the Tanpopo-no-Ye Foundation, was held in Fukuoka, Japan.
Welfare centers in Fukuoka worked alongside engineers, designers, and creators involved with IoT/Fab with the goal of job creation rooted in the local area. The program examined disability and the future state of work on the theme “Raising Digital Makers,” in cooperation with Studio MARU, Ikikata no Design Kenkyujo, and the Kitakyushu Innovation Gallery & Studio (KIGS) Digital Fab Studio.
There are approximately 7,880,000 individuals with disabilities in Japan (according to a 2013 survey by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare), but only a scant 631,000 of those individuals work in offices with five or more employees, and many simply cannot work due to reasons of physical health or the kind of work required. As of the present time in 2017, although the number of those individuals who find work is on the rise, the types of jobs they can perform are limited and their options for work are few, making many of them unable to bring their individual abilities and expressions into their work.
The IoT (Internet of Things) refers to “the state in which all sorts of things are connected through the internet and able to communicate with each other,” and this concept is expected to create completely new relationships between “people and people,” “people and things,” and “things and things.” Fab (Fabrication) refers to “a new form of craftsmanship born from the fusion of the internet and digital fabrication (computer controlled machine tools),” and in communities all over the world, is gaining attention as a technology which can accommodate the creativity of each individual person.
As can be seen by the 330 million yen budget allocation request by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, there are high expectations for the field in terms of economic development. However, from our perspective as a group active in design, business, art, and care, we would like to develop this technology in terms of new forms of craftsmanship/job creation for those with disabilities and the realization of a society where each individual can choose a way of life with creativity and dignity.
We established the Good Job! Center in Kashiba, Nara where we make use of laser cutters, 3D printers, and other digital machine tools to drive initiatives for new job creation together with individuals with disabilities, and we are moving forward with a Care and IoT Research Society with the cooperation of Keio University, The Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences, and Kyoto University.
With this project, we were given the chance to spread the idea of job creation through IoT and Fab throughout all of Japan with the help of The Nippon Foundation. In the 2017 fiscal year, we will aim to have engineers, designers, and creators involved with IoT/Fab come together with welfare centers to work towards job creation rooted in the local area in Fukuoka, Yamaguchi, and Gifu Prefectures.
(Tanpopo-no-Ye Foundation IoT and Fab Project Office, Social Welfare Service Corporation Wataboushi-no-Kai, Good Job! Center Kashiba, Good Job! Center, Good Job! Center Kashiba Disability and the Future of Work – IoT and Fab Project,2017)
Scenes from the project will be uploaded to the website below and updated as necessary:
IoT, Fab, and Welfare – Fukuoka