The 4th exhibition "DESIGNING" in 2008 was held at about 50 shops and galleries in Fukuoka city. The concept of this exhibition was "ON".
In the main hall, IMS, there has gathered to showcase "pieces" of each exhibit to act as the "index" of the event conveying at a glance an essence of "DESIGNING". "IMS" has also functioned as the hub for visitors to get themselves down to another exhibitions taking place in various places around the city. The "index" venue has consisted of every day products such as cardboards and packing tapes, making a presentation how will it change if a spice of "design" adds into those common materials.
During the session, many events were held every day in the exhibition space next to the index. On 26th there was performed a workshop to handcraft voice recorders, collaborating with a design project MILE and ELEKIT of the electronic work. Parents and children built a model voice memo kit together and designed its package. Participants might have felt that "design" is not that special as they think. It is a free and familiar thing.
In the main venue there also held various events and competitions for anyone who can join and enjoy. The events include the young Hiroshima-based architect's Makoto Tanijiri exhibition, the pink bell blood donation to suggest "blood donation × design", and the Netherlands ecology movement project "NO JUNK MAIL STICKER.
At the shopping mall "VIORO" near the main hall, DESINGING produced an exhibition entitled "NURUMAYU". This is a first student exhibition showcased cardboard-made headgears and vegetable flower made products, questioning to the passersby messages to ask "What's Fukuoka?" and "What's design?"
One of the impressive exhibitions in the entire event was "Bag Packer", which was design by Velo, a member of ANTI SYSTEM PRODUCTS. "Bag Packer" is a tool holding sleeves of T-shirts, tank tops and shirts. If you hold sleeves of your clothes with rubber hard enough, it transforms into a bag so easily.
You can use clothes which you don't wear any longer. You can also use them as bags to reduce the baggage volume making the travel more comfortable. "Bag Packer" asks if a recent trend, "to make eco-bags" is really necessary in terms of ecology. Velo is known as a "destruction artist", destroying common sense and value in world around us. When I met his works and knew a concept of this work, my view of ecology movement was destroyed as well. Though his work, "Bag Packer", he also destroyed my viewpoint on ecology.
"Stitch and Sew" won an award for the designer section of this year. Most of their works are goods in a daily life such as a bag, a mirror, a pendant light and tableware. To use it permanently, they intend to design something flexible. It looks like a casual design, however, in understanding the concept, their products seemed to be slightly different from other products.
"organ + ENOUGH" was awarded a prize of the shop section of the year, suggesting a concept "life with shoes" as a choice of new lifestyles for Japanese people. If Japanese accept "life with shoes", they would find a new height of eye levels and feel a new touch of the foot with shoes in the house. They taught me that it is more important to find your own lifestyle than to remain stereotypes.
DESIGNING is getting larger in its scale every year. There were so many events and exhibitions, and new designers and shops participated in DESIGNING 2008. What kind of various works and designs do we meet in next year? I am looking forward to the 5th show in 2009.
Date: April 25th - 29th, 2008
Place: IMS, VIORO etc, 50 shops and galleries in Fukuoka city
Text and photo: Yuko Matono
Translation: Naoko Miura