What is design? Let’s take a peek at the world spreading through a small Hatena, or question.

Let’s take a pause and look at all the things, people, and events in our daily lives and society...

It is a laboratory to know, feel, and approach design through a simple question.


This time’s theme

2023 questionnaire survey of judges

Design 3 questions and 3 answers


Approximately 90 judges, including designers and experts from Japan and overseas, who are active at the forefront of each field, gathered for the screening of 2023 GOOD DESIGN AWARD. Three simple questions were asked to the judges about design. In this second installment, we will introduce the responses of various members, including Mr. Shigeki Hattori, Art Director, and Mr. Dominique Chen, information studies researcher.


How did you get involved in design?

Because my junior high school art teacher said “All the things and events people create are connected to society.”

What’s new recently?

Once again, Nintendo. There is a lot of awareness about the relationship between the sustainable management strategy and origin.

The IP strategy promoted by Nintendo is not temporary but rather continues to develop. It shows a proper corporate attitude to develop and refine their brand value without distorting it. It really made me think that what is important in continuing to increase corporate value in today’s society, which is often influenced by social trends, is to be based on a strong identity. Design by a brave brand like Nintendo may be required now.

What design can do

We can create a better future together through design.

Manabu Tago

Art Director / Designer | Representative, MTDO Inc.

After being involved in household appliances and information equipment at Toshiba, then taking part in the startup period of REALFLEET CO., LTD (current: amadana), a household appliances venture company, and being responsible for design management, Tago established MTDO Inc. Through research of corporate and organizational design and innovation, his specialty is "design management", overall design from concept creation to product development, across a wide range of industrial fields. A designer that carries our new value creation completely from start to finish, including branding, UX, product design, etc. Many works have received awards domestically and from overseas.


How did you get involved in design?

Antique furniture repair I did as a part-time job. When I was an art college student, I repaired antique furniture from the 18th century. I signed my name next to those of previous repairers. I thought, design is amazing!

What’s new recently?

Children’s word of “discovery”! It’s fundamental.

What design can do

Carrot (love) and stick. In other words, it’s inclusive and acts as a catalyst.

Shigeki Hattori

Designer/Creative Director | Representative Director of graf, Professor at Kyoto university of Art, Department of Infomation Design

Born in Osaka in 1970, Hattori is the creative director and designer of graf, a collective of different industries that started up in 1997. He is involved in design and branding direction for architecture, interior design, and product design. He extracts concepts from design research, and sees the local community and social infrastructure as a part of that area. He aims to design from projects to programs, and from movements to culture.


How did you get involved in design?

When I realized in my childhood that different languages (Japanese and French) created different sensory worlds.

What’s new recently?

Fermented food preparation, weak robots, Noh (traditional Japanese performing art), and Chu-dou-tai (middle voice).

What design can do

It can approach mutual incomprehensibility and obscurity.

Dominique Chen

Information Studies Researcher | Professor, Faculty of Letters, Arts and Sciences, Waseda University

Born in 1981. Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Informatics. He has worked as a researcher at NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC] and co-founder of Dividual, Inc. before taking his current post. His research focuses on the relationship between technology, humans, and more-than-human worlds, as well as digital wellbeing. He is the author of many books, including "Japanese Modern Literature as Commons" (East Press) and “Words to Create the Future: To Connect our Misunderstandings” (Shinchosha). He has also translated “Positive Computing: Technology for Wellbeing and Human Potential” (MIT Press) and edited "To Create Our Well-Being: Philosophy, Practices, and Technologies" (both published by BNN Shinsha).


How did you get involved in design?

I got involved in design when I started working at IDÉE SHOP.

What’s new recently?

Last year, a project I worked on two years ago won the grand prize in the brand and communication design category of the German international Red Dot Design Award. It was great to learn firsthand the difference in the stance for the design award.

What design can do

I’m honestly skeptical that design can change society or solve social problems, but I think it can at least serve as a guide to better solutions.

Yu Yamada

Buyer | President, method inc.

Born in Tokyo. After working as a buyer at IDÉE SHOP in Minami Aoyama, he founded Method Co., Ltd. in 2007 and worked on various projects related to product launches and other tasks as a freelance buyer for both domestic and international goods. He currently serves as the Representative Director of Method Co., Ltd., Visiting Professor in the Craft and Industrial Design Department at Musashino Art University, and Chairperson of the Tokyo Business Design Award Jury. In 2013, "Discover Japan Special Issue: Lifestyle Specialty Stores" was released by Ei Publishing and in 2014, "Design and Sense: Method for Successful Shop Operations" was published by Seibundo Shinkosha.


How did you get involved in design?

When I was traveling alone in high school, I was fascinated by the landscapes where the climate, culture, buildings, and people’s activities overlapped in every town I went.

What’s new recently?

I had a baby. I’m moved by how they see, touch, and capture the world with joy. I’m taught that the world is so full of joy.

What design can do

It brings different perspectives, and provides opportunities to think together.

Yuki Uchida

Urban Designer | Senior Director, Re:public Inc. / President, YET / Co-Owner, A New Scale

Uchida graduated from Waseda University with a bachelors in Architecture and later received her masters in Sustainable City Design at Ferrara University in Italy. In 2013, she became a founding member of a Re:public Inc., which works with governments, companies, local citizens, and educational institutes to design innovation ecosystems with communities. She is also co-owner of A New Scale, an urban research collective. She conducts urban research activities with a focus on physicality, urban design, and art. Co-planned and edited the book "Ashiita no shigoto: Thinking with Asian Practitioners about Alternative Futures" (Kokuyo Co., Ltd.) She was appointed as a regional revitalization evangelist by the Cabinet Office in 2017.

journal editorial department

Editing & writing

Editorial team of the web media “.g Good Design journal.” It is planned and managed jointly by the secretariat office of the GOOD DESIGN AWARD and external members in order to explore new possibilities in design.