About the Exhibition

21_21 DESIGN SIGHT has held "Secret Source of Inspiration: Designers' Hidden Sketches and Mockups" from November 22th, 2019 to March 8th, 2020. The exhibition director Kinya Tagawa is a design engineer at Takram, a firm actively engaging in developments of software, material objects, and the interactive arts. The exhibition consists of sketches, drawings, and mockups by current members of JAPAN DESIGN COMMITTEE. Unlike final outputs, such behind-the-scenes items are rarely accessible to the public, and yet 'hidden parts' reveal an essential essence about creativity. Visitors will enjoy a stimulating and suggestive experience, exceptionally powerful for the younger generation, which is so reliant on digital tools for their work.


Following its foundation in 1953, JAPAN DESIGN COMMITTEE has devoted to the development of the field by selecting outstanding products and holding exhibitions through its long and fertile relationship with the Matsuya Ginza department store in Tokyo. Conspicuous designers, architects, and critics serve on the committee pro bono, with currently 26 members, ranging in age from 40s to 90s. Tagawa is one of the youngest, pursuing new territories in design engineering.

The exhibition consists of sketches and mockups produced by JAPAN DESIGN COMMITTEE members. Each varies according to the person's field, generation, and peculiar preference. Videos are included to record initial steps in creative processes, and these are also supplemented by members' publications. Together, the array offers fascinating glimpses into designers' thinking. The show uses the activities of the members to look back over the developments in Japanese design, also seeking to expand conventional exhibition cores and secure a broad impact but also delivering members' Podcast interviews, and holding talk events with the next generation of designers.

This exhibition aims to be a node of connectivity for people across different generations and fields and to provide everyone with the opportunity to assess the rich strains of Japanese design to further future creativity.


Venue view (lobby)


Venue view (Gallery 2)


Venue view (Gallery 2)


Atsushi Kitagawara Exhibition view


Kengo Kuma exhibition view


Takashi Niimi Exhibition view


”Chairs for Designers"


Naoto Fukasawa (Product Designer) / Kenya Hara (Graphic Designer) / Keiko Hirano (Designer) / Takamichi Ito (Sculptor) / Hiroshi Kashiwagi (Design Critic) / Motomi Kawakami (Designer) / Toshiyuki Kita (Product Designer) / Atsushi Kitagawara (Architect) / Makoto Koizumi (Furniture Designer) / Kengo Kuma (Architect) / Masayuki Kurokawa (Architect / Product Designer) / Tetsuo Matsumoto (Architect / Interior Designer) / Shin Matsunaga (Graphic Designer) / Kaoru Mende (Lighting Designer) / Ryuji Mitani (Woodworker) / Kazufumi Nagai (Art Director) / Kazumasa Nagai (Graphic Designer) / Hiroshi Naito (Architect) / Ryu Niimi (Curator) / Taku Satoh (Graphic Designer) / Fumie Shibata (Product Designer) / Reiko Sudo (Textile Designer) / Yasuhiro Suzuki (Artist) / Kinya Tagawa (Design Engineer) / Toshiyuki Tanaka (Spatial Designer) / Shunji Yamanaka (Design Engineer)


By early members of the Japan Design Committee, Design collection selection meeting

Event Info

TitleSecret Source of Inspiration: Designers' Hidden Sketches and Mockups
DateNovember 22 (Fri), 2019 - March 8 (Sun), 2020
Venue21_21 DESIGN SIGHT Gallery 1 & 2
ClosedTuesdays (Except December 24, February 11), December 26 - January 3
Time10:00 - 19:00 (Entrance until 18:30)
AdmissionGeneral ¥1,200 / University Student ¥800 / High School Student ¥500 / Junior High School Student and under may enter for free