Style & Design

Designart Tokyo announces plans for bigger and better celebration of creativity

by Naomi Schanen

Staff writer

The founders of a Tokyo design and art event that debuted last year gathered in the Shibuya district on Thursday to showcase their plans and ideas for this year’s festival.

With over 70,000 projected visitors and 100 venues, Designart Tokyo will showcase works from both young and up-and-coming artists, as well as world-famous brands in the fashionable and hip Omotesando and Gaienmae areas.

This year’s festival, which will take place between Oct. 19 and Oct. 28., will introduce a few new events in addition to the works on display at various locations around the capital.

For instance, Designart Feature will showcase the first large-scale collaboration between contemporary artist Akira Fujimoto and architect Yuko Nagayama, both famous in Tokyo’s art scene.

Commemorating 150 years of friendship with Sweden this year, the festival will also feature various products by designers from the country known for their practical yet stylish designs.

“We want to bring together art and design that you not only see but also feel,” Akio Aoki, one of the founding members, said during a news conference at the Hikarie building.

“We will turn the city of Tokyo into a giant arts museum and can’t wait for you all to see it.”

Established by six creatives in various fields last year, the festival aims to “revitalize the creative scene in Tokyo,” according to its website.

While last year’s event was a success with over 42,500 visitors, this year’s festival is expected to be 1.5 times bigger in terms of the number of venues and participating artists.

Succeeding the concept from similar events, such as Designers Saturday back in the 1980s and ’90s and Tokyo Designers Week, Designart Tokyo is making use of Tokyo’s culture and multiculturalism to exhibit talents both in and outside of Japan from various industries, including architecture, interior design, product design, fashion, music, technology, sports and cuisine.

The art and design festival also plans to encourage young artists and designers through their “Under-30 project” by providing a platform for them to kick-off their careers.

“Tokyo has so many young, talented artists, but there was no place to showcase their work,” said Mark Dytham, one of the founders. “That’s why Designart Tokyo had to happen.”