LaboResearch institute

In order to enliven the island through creativity.
Ishigaki-shima Creative Labo report

In fall 2014, Ishigaki-shima Creative Flag, which aims to “Enliven Ishigaki-shima as a creative place”, started the “Ishigaki-shima Creative Labo” study group to allow the community to gather with creators to think about what they can do for Ishigaki-shima. Inviting designers and editors active domestically and abroad as guests, they made reports on the 5 heated discussions they had.

Photo – Koji Nakanishi,Little Community Lab Co.,Ltd.

vol.1
“Enliven the islands through creativity”

Atsuko Isamoto editor at The Archipelago News

vol.1

The first meeting involved Atsuko Isamoto, of The Archipelago News, which targets inhabited outlying islands all over Japan, and she introduced creative projects that are underway on islands all throughout Japan. Using the creative activities of these other islands which are in similar environments to Ishigaki-shima, there was a group discussion about just what can be done on the island. Ideas such as collaboration among creators, using the various talents of the local creative industry for collaboration and production of resort weddings, creators acting as teachers and teaching art to children and making short films were discussed, and subjects such as the lack of opportunities to come to know the works of the various creators and the need for those with business and negotiation skills were raised.

vol.2
“Advanced creative advertising making use of the region”

Kouichi Kawajiri – Tohoku University of Art and Design associate professor / Ginga Lighter chairman

vol.2

“How is the economy, everyone?” ” The second meeting started with Mr. Kawajiri’s straight-forward question, and went into discussion using the leading advertisement that had won an award at world’s largest advertising show, “CANNES LIONS”. Lecture participants heard that the leading advertisements of today are those which can be participated in, can be shared, and can be experienced, and can usually be expressed when you’re really going at something seriously. This also followed with a discussion on how creators can combine their skills and designs. One participant brought up the idea that the isolated environment of creative work can become lonely, and discussion went on about treating confining oneself to Ishigaki-shima in a positive manner, and creating a place where works can be displayed and announced, connecting the creative society. Hopes were set high for the future.

vol.3
“Cities and societies built from design”

Gen Teraichi – Machizu Creative representative director / Yuta Oda – Creative director

vol.3

The third meeting featured guests from “MAD City” in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, which draws in creators and carries out town development activities. Mr. Oda, in charge of design at MAD City talked about how when you talk about design, you are really talking about 3 types; system design, service design, and product design. Product design, which is easy to see, is often purported as the only type of design, but both tangible and non-tangible things such as social infrastructure and communication also have complex relations and give form to towns and societies. The problem for Ishigaki-shima, which already has many products, is how to circulate them. During the discussion, a participant asked what the required skills are for creators to gather and collaborate, as well as other things, and the discussion grew to be a deep one about using Ishigaki-shima’s potential.

vol.4
“Creators taking on the world”

Eisuke Tachikawa / NOSIGNER president/designer

vol.4

In order to “record plans in code” to overcome the root of the word “design”, Eisuke Tachikawa founded NOSIGNER to think about designing intangible things. Winning numerous design competitions, he has been employed by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry as concept director for the Cool Japan movement’s promotional conference. At the start of the lecture he answered questions from participants such as “How did you start out on your current work?” “How can we spread word of our works made while living on an isolated island to the rest of the country and the world?” . In order to take on the world, he suggested that everyone must be willing to try even work that they’ve never done before, know that understanding the quality of a pro brings work in naturally, and that by focusing not on designing things, but instead ideas, that you can instantly surpass all your current experience.

vol.5
“The creativity of the regions of Japan”

Toshihiro Takahashi / Discover Japan editor-in-chief

vol.5

The 5th guest was Toshihiro Takahashi, who works as editor-in-chief for “Discover Japan”, a magazine which centers on rediscovering the charm of Japan. He detailed the story of how when he traveled to northern Europe for an article he saw Japanese folk craft and traditional arts on display in the house of a famous designer he decided to establish “Discover Japan”. He introduced examples of creative works on display throughout Japan, enlivening their regions, garnering interest among the attendants. Through this study group, the creators discussed concrete ways in which to enliven creativity on the island, and issues such as the difficulty of presenting tradition in a modern way, a desire to use creative power to promote the island during the winter months when visitors are few in number, and how rapid change in setting something as a tourist location results in the destruction of traditional culture. Ishigaki-shima Creative Flag will continue to hold places of study like these, and expand places for the activities of creators themselves.