Coming to life from Issey Miyake’s 2003 newspaper article ‘Time to Create a Design Museum’, the exhibition at 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT titled ‘Toward a DESIGN MUSEUM JAPAN’ explores the expectations for a design museum in Japan.

For the planners of this current exhibition, it started from Issey Miyake’s 2003 newspaper article titled ‘Time to Create a Design Museum’. Ten years from that time, they asked, “What are the things we can do amidst the various movements spurring toward creating such a museum? ” The answer is this exhibition that rebuilds past exhibitions and their related activities.

Miyake’s article challenged the way the Japanese engaged with design innovation. “Today, the Japanese are indifferent to original ideas and technologies, as well as to the design process that gives them ‘form.’ They should be more aware of the fact that our daily life is functionally enhanced through original design, and this in turn nurtures us both culturally and spiritually,” he said.

The conceptual exhibition is divided into four key areas: making, finding, linking and creating. The sections aim to suggest that the design museum is the link that connects the creator, the receiver, and the storyteller.

The self-reflexive exhibition revaluates the needs and expectations of a design museum, renewing the view of Japan’s national identity and role in design. 

Opening in 2007 and designed by Tadao Ando, 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT was Japan’s first design museum. Its board of directors includes prominent Japanese designers Issey Miyaka, Taku Satoh and Naoto Fukasawa.

‘Toward a DESIGN MUSEUM JAPAN’ is on display at 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT until Sunday 9 February 2014.

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