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14 September 2011
Good Design Expo 2011
Design championed areas most deeply affected by Japan’s triple disaster at this year’s event in Tokyo. We bring you the highlights.
This year's Good Design Expo, as with all that had gone before, was another massive display of designs that had passed through the second and final screening for the 2011 Good Design Award.
A total of 42,359 members of the public flocked through the doors of the Tokyo International Exhibition Center (aka Tokyo Big Sight) from 26 to 28 August where they got to view more than 2,000 items of every discernable type – from family groceries to passenger cars to construction.
Amidst all the bustle, however, the impact of the recent Great East Japan Earthquake was not far from the minds of participants and visitors alike.
This year, a special exhibition titled "Area Aid Design Project" was launched at the Good Design Expo. The initiative gathered together designs from some 100 companies and designers who have been utilising design across a wide range of industries in the Tohoku region and Ibaraki prefecture – areas deeply affected in the aftermath of the disaster.
"The exhibition created a great sensation... it showed that potential ability of production which these affected areas have," says Mr Akimoto, spokesperson for project.
"Even though the internet spreads all over the world, the manufacturers from the countryside need to find ways of selling products in Tokyo; most of them have no route. Therefore we are considering [ways] to provide some opportunities to promote products to distribution or media for them."
Tohoku and Ibaraki have historically been rich in resources and have thriving manufacturing industries that utilise traditional methods and techniques handed down through the generations.
The Area Aid Design Project will run for 3 years to help rebuild and develop new markets for the businesses affected. This will include creating a platform for companies and designers at design-led exhibitions and trade shows in Japan and around the world.
The Area Aid Design Project will next be travelling to 2011 Taipei World Design Expo (30 Sept - 30 Oct).