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February seemed to be the month of Art and Design exhibitions in Tokyo, after checking out the Japan Media Arts Festival last week we strolled over to the "Design Ah!" Exhibition in 21_21 Design Sight next to Tokyo Midtown Garden in Roppongi.
Based on the NHK Educational TV program with the same name, "Design Ah!" takes the show one step further with this interactive exhibition aimed at encouraging both young people and adults to think about design in their everyday life.
The curators hope to stimulate a 'design orientated mind' by showcasing works that reflect Japanese culture and encouraging visitors to experience design through audio and visual stimulus.
We came across some cool exhibits at Design Ah and wanted to share a few of the most interesting:
"Ah! in motion" by tha ltd encourages visitors to dance in front of the 'ah' phonetic symbol projected on the wall and watch as the 'ah' changes shape to match their movements.
"Furoshiki" or the art of folding cloth was demonstrated using simple instructional videos (produced by Taku Satoh Design and Etsuko Yamada from Musubi) where the visitor can learn and practice folding cloth to carry different items.
"Sushi Break Up!" by Tomohiro Okazaki deconstructs sushi into its various elements; separating each grain of rice, piece of fish and roll of seaweed.
"The many faces of sushi" by the Taku Satoh Design Office presents the diversity of food and objects associated with Japan's most famous dish.
Just Right also by Tako Satoh Design Office comments on what portion size is appropriate for sushi.
"Pouring Soy Sauce" is another work by Tako Satoh Design Office showing the mechanics of how soy sauce flows in the perfect way.
"School Break Up!" examines the objects and elements that are connected with the 6th Grade of Akasaka Elementary school in Tokyo and breaks it down into many items such as books, back backs, whiteboards and students.
"Dessin Ah!" also by tha ltd is an interactive design experience where children and adults are invited to finger draw the penguin statue in the middle of the circle on an i-pad. Artists can then see their drawing on the projector and can also understand the process they took to draw the penguin (or anything else they want as pictured above) as it is shown to them.
"Penguin Story" by Taku Satoh Design Office uses projection mapping to demonstrate moving images on the surface of three dimensional packaging as with this example of a packet of chewing gum. Visitors are expected to think about the future prospects of animated packaging designs.
Design Ah! runs from February 8th until June 2nd, 2013. General Admission costs 1000 Yen and 800 Yen for students.
We recommend that you check it out if you are in Tokyo.
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