Inspiring Society through Design
Making class lessons more exciting by making them feel like a game
Lectures given at the Sakai Research Laboratory are unique. In each 90-minute class session, students consider and give presentations on themes that come up during the session, forging thinking and conceptual skills in the students. A variety of guest speakers hailing from diverse fields have been invited to speak, such as Shihoko Urushi, the principal of Shinagawa Joshi Gakuin (Shinagawa Women’s College), and Hideshi Hamaguchi of Ziba, an American design firm. When we welcomed P&G’s brand director to one of the lectures, the theme we dealt with was the concept of “iconic”. After discussing how Lady Gaga’s iconic status and Brittany Spears’ “iconic” status differ from each other, students thought about ways to make Nishijin silk fabrics “iconic” and gave presentations on this topic.
Their answers were first tweeted to the Laboratory’s Twitter account, and the students gave 1-minute presentations based on these tweets. These tweets could be seen by other users, who could then participate in the discussion too. A poll was also held to decide the 3 best and 3 worst answers. “Gamification” has recently become a buzzword, so I have been turning each of my lectures into something like a game, with a distinct “win or lose” approach. We choose a winner from among the best 3 answers, and after the lecture we all go out to eat with the guest lecturer. The winning students can enjoy the chance to talk personally with people who are active in all fields. The losers can feel disappointed, so we encourage them to try harder for next time – that way, they can become winners. In this way, we are creating a way to increase the students’ motivation.
Unbeatable Design Skills at the College of Arts with SFC
Sending Out Innovative Products, Changing the World
We Want Today’s Students to Move On to Find Jobs Overseas or Start Their Own Companies
We hold useful discussions about job-hunting during the lectures, but it seems that the job market in Japan is going to become tighter, making it harder to find jobs in the future. We think it is a good idea for job-hunters to target companies like Google, Apple, Nike, and Wieden+Kennedy. We want to train students at the Research Laboratory to be people who can work anywhere in the world, without being too attached to Japan.
Having started a company myself at age 19, I would be happy to see more students start their own businesses. Thanks to the Internet, the costs and risks of starting a company have fallen. Just recently, it was not an easy era for starting businesses. What we are now planning to do is turn out future company presidents at the Sakai Research Laboratory – to “mass-produce” them, in other words. If we turn out more entrepreneurs who can come up with new products and services based on a designer’s way of thinking, I think it will make the world a more interesting place.