4th Study of Design Fundamentals Seminar “Vision Driven: Start with imagination”

December 3, 2018 (Monday)

At Kyushu University’s Faculty of Design, we are tackling the fundamental theory of design studies with the objective of systematizing design.

We welcomed Kunitake Saso, CEO and Chief Strategic Designer of BIOTOPE co., ltd. together with Hiroshi Tamura, a visiting professor at Kyushu University, to talk about Vision Driven Innovation. The venue was well attended, with about 40 people taking part.Professor Toru Koga of our university’s Faculty of Design recounts the events of the day.

It cannot be denied that the biggest mover of people and companies is not profit, but rather inertia. By simply swatting away the little problems that arise while coasting through life, and calling that “improvement, or “problem solving”, or “work”, one becomes squashed into that routine. When people are in this state of inertia, they develop a fear of creativity, and if anything, they hold back those who try to be creative, saying things like “that’s a risk”, “it won’t be understood”, “it’s too difficult to understand”. While that goes on, the ability to embrace imaginations withers away.

Finding a point to break this negative cycle and switch to another is the job of Mr. Saso. Taking each individual’s small imaginations, he builds plans for the future that everyone can hold in common, finds a social context where they can be implemented, determines the path toward implementation, and works to build that within society. By following this cycle, it is possible to breathe life back into people’s ability to embrace imagination, and to overcome their fear of the creative. This is what Vision Driven Innovations is about. According to Mr. Saso, “art thinking” is the process of restoring individuals’ creativity and making their lives enjoyable.

If people’s imaginations are tossed away as “unrealistic”, neglected, and left to wither, there is no route that connects them to reality. That is why Mr. Saso believes that the bridge between imaginations and reality is crucial to nurturing the power to dream itself. If we call that work of building bridges “design”, then design supports art as the ability to imagine. If design is giving shape to an idea and bringing it into land, then it is something without which art is impossible.

Embracing a vision is to push against what does exist and enter the realm of what does not. What takes one over to the side of the non-existent is not testing, experimentation, or questionnaires. However, without the ability to make the non-existent real, the non-existent will remain exactly that, and before long the idea itself will disappear. If such things as art and design exist, then what they are is a connection that maintains the possibilities of the unreal.

■ Seminar Overview
[Date] December 3, 2018 (Monday) 16:30 – 18:30

[Venue] Kyushu University Ohashi Campus Design Commons 2F (Shiobaru 4-9-1, Minami-ku, Fukuoka)

Kunitake Saso
He graduated from the University of Tokyo Faculty of law, and completed his master’s course in Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology. After working at P&G and Human Value Company, he was involved in the launch of new business creation programs for Sony Creative Centers. His strengths lie in these things: B to C consumer goods brand design, high-tech R & D concept design and service design project. Today, he is the CEO and Chief Strategic Designer at BIOTOPE Inc.

He is also a visiting Professor at Creative Learning Center, Kyoto University of Art and Design.

Hiroshi Tamura
Joint representative of Re:public Inc.
Co-founder and executive fellow of Tokyo University’s Holds the additional posts of visiting professor at Kyushu University and the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. Known as a pioneer of design thought, he currently designs and manages a variety of open innovation projects which connect industry, academics, the public, and the private sector domestically and overseas, and searches for new “innovation ecosystems.” His main collaboration is “Todai Shiki Sekai Wo Kaeru Inobeshon No Tsukurikata” (Hayakawa Shoten).

[Inquiries] Toru Koga (Kyushu University Faculty of Design) toru(a)

[Organizer] Kyushu University Faculty of Design / Kyushu University Global Innovation Center

The scene at the venue
Mr. Saso
Professor Koga


December 3, 2018 (Monday) 16:30 – 18:30


This is an archive of images, videos and documents recording our activities up until now.
You can download a file by selecting the thumbnail.

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Ohashi campus
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Design for LGBTs and an Inclusive Society
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Ohashi campus