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Survey on the actual situation of Japanese design archives

what is going on?Design archives of these people


Kan Akita

graphic designer


Interview: October 17, 2016 (Monday) 16: 30 ~ 18: 00
Coverage area: Akita Design · Can
Interviewee: Riko Suzuki
Interviewer: Yasuko Seki, Akiko Wakui / Writing: Akiko Wakui



Akita Kan

graphic designer
Born in Hyogo Prefecture in 1958.
1981 Graduated from Tokyo Zokei University visual design department.
1982 I entered the design room Kazumitsu Tanaka.
1991 Established Akita Design · CAN.
He teaches at Tokyo Zokei University from 1998 to 2012 (Professor from 2004).
Died since 2012 brain tumor.Age is 53 years old.

Kan Akita



In October 2012, Kan Akita, a graphic designer who left this world as young as 53 years old.After graduating from Tokyo Zokei University, Akita who studied and independent under Kazumi Tanaka sent out graphic design of all genres such as book design, poster, package, logo, sign plan.Starting with the Japan Graphic Designers Association (JAGDA) Newcomer Award, we steadily build up achievements through the Tokyo Art Director's Club Hara Hironori, Nippon Package Design Grand Prize (Silver Award), New York ADC (Silver Award · Bronze Award) and many other awards , It was early death in the future expectation of further success in the future.
Akita's style, which expresses a strong color and a balance of space that complements it, expressing it simply and clearly is often referred to as "dynamic" or "orthodox".It is in the strength of the message nature directly transmitted from directly in front, which can not be achieved by surface coloring or shaping.With his sharp insight and flexible thinking power, he thinks from various angular approaches and constantly pursues "absolute solution" from among a number of ideas born from it.That was the stance of Akita, and it was also the source to create persuasive works.

These Akita's abilities are also demonstrated to a great extent in the work with Miyake Issei's design pursuing innovation from a simple idea as well as numerous Issei brand exhibition posters such as "ISSEY MIYAKE" "PLEATS PLEASE" "A-POC" . "What is it? In A-POC MIYAKE ISSEY + FUJIWARA DAI Exhibition "(2003), by arranging the front and back of clothes and letters respectively on the front and back of the double-sided poster," Miyake The concept of "cloth" is expressed in "one sheet of paper".
Also, Akita, whose ability to capture space and space stands out, truly trusted from architects, and he worked on the design of many architectural books and posters.Among them, the relationship between architecture and design specialty gallery "gallery · between" is deep, as a staff of Mr. Tanaka when opening in 1985, announcement of exhibition in the form of passing baton from Mr. Tanaka from 2000 to 2010 I kept making posters.
Furthermore, while energetically doing a lot of work, he taught at the Tokyo Zokei University which is the alma mater from 1998 and has also enthusiastically worked on nurturing backwards.In the book "book of design books" (Piebooks, 2007), we chose a total of 833 books, such as books that we recommend to design beginners and books affected by themselves, and tips to cultivate young creativity It is summarized in one book.





Ginza Graphic Gallery "Shinichiro Arakawa" (1997)
"What? A-POC -Miyake Issey + Fujiwara Dai- "Exhibition (2003)


<Book Design>

"Architecture of Luis Barragan" (1992 · TOTO publication)
"Architecture MAP Tokyo" (1994 · TOTO publication)
"Kazuo Shinohara" (1996 · TOTO publication)
"All houses of Le Corbusier" (2001 · TOTO publication)
"Kiyoshi Kiyoshi ARCHITECT KIYOSHI SEIKE 1918-2005" (2006 · Newly built company)


<Logotype, symbol mark>

"AOKI" (2005)
"Four Seasons Theater" (Spring / Autumn 1998, Summer 2009)
"JOCA" (2000)


<Package / SP tool>

"Morisawa font" package (2007, 2008)


<Sign plan>

"Hyatt Regency Kyoto" (2006) *
* Sign design with collaboration with Katsumi Fujita



"Book of Design Book" (2007 · Pie · Books)

Akita Kan 's work



Current status of company name inheritance and archiving

To Suzuki san who supported Akita as a wife as an editor in relation work, talk about Mr. Akita's current architectural design archive and how they will be maintained in the future I would like.It has been four years since Mr. Akita passed away, but what is the office like now?


Suzuki back then, the staff has been independent or moved to another office, but "Akita Design · Kang" is still a corporate entity.Because I got advice from a tax accountant, how about continuing the company by adding my work contents to the articles of incorporation.


Seki Then, in your work in the main is the business Suzuki himself, or is that Irassharu also received requests related to the Akita's.


Suzuki That's right.About half a year after Akita passed away, the staff left and I gave a big job break, which I had, but thankfully I still have a request to continue my work.In that case, please contact the person who was the chief designer.


Seki company name you want and think the opportunity leave?


Suzuki It is difficult to answer clearly, but sometimes I have passed away at a young age.I think that I would not care if I was older, I would not leave my office at all.I guess that it was a pleasure that a tax accountant told me that Mr. Akita would be pleased if I leave the name "Akita Design Kang".


Mr. Seki Akita was involved in graphic design in a wide range of categories, but what kind of things are left, including sketches before becoming a work?


Because Suzuki editorial design was abundant, it is mainly books, magazines, posters, package designs as the end of work.Sketches are for passing to the staff, so it seems that there was absolutely no custom of leaving it.It was a person who could not throw things, but I thought it surprisingly that there was no obsession with sketches.


I think to be a huge amount just about books and magazines, but how are you stored.


Suzuki Books and magazines have publication magazines and books that Akita gathered with hobbies in addition to job finish.Apart from the space inside the office, T-shirts and package-type actual items, leaflets, exhibition exhibition works, materials, etc. are kept in the trunk room under the condominium.The book was organized largely when incorporating the office at home.Most of them I manage, but I handed over to the people who are in the office, OG, OG of the office, I sold it to an archive book store in the design system.



Selection of what to leave and what to commit


Wakui I think that it will be enormous, but how did the drawing of what I leave and what I do not leave?


If Suzuki location and money can afford, I would like to leave everything, but I thought that if I considered the priority, it would be the finished one.In particular, I think that it is a poster that is difficult to keep with individuals.Since the area of the map case is not like entering the home.However, regarding the posters, the CCGA Modern Graphic Arts Center of Dai Nippon Printing and the Special Tokai Paper are all archiving.Also, some people told me to use a map case with a designer independent from the office, and we also have posters kept together.Thanks to that, I was able to make a decision not to leave posters at hand.Special Tokai Paper has archived books, and Tokyo Zokei University also saves the majority of books.


Wakai It is encouraging because it is hard to keep it in person.Besides the actual thing, I think that there are enormous data and pictures etc in personal computers, but what about them?


As Suzuki Akita and the designers of the staff shared the hard disks one by one with each other, the work information should be collectively in it, but I have not confirmed yet.Pictures are not digital but we have a lot of things taken in the positive, but we have not seen what is shown.Perhaps I thought it was taken when I went to a business trip.


Seki but I think that it was also hard to be organized so far.


Suzuki Originally the office was in Aoyama, but when Akita became sick, moved to a place near his home, after a further death, incorporate it at home this year and organize little by little I made it.I guess it was time to let it go.Until the spring of last year, I could not think of tsu to incorporate in my house.


Seki In the future, are you thinking about making these archives widely available to students and the general public in some form?


Suzuki There is a book ("Graphic design by Kan Akita's graphic design", 2013) which I handed out as a return item at the time of farewell party, but this was made in one month since the burial was over .As I went through all the texts and interview articles that Akita contributed in the past and extracted the words that fit the project to be posted, I have a feeling that I did one thing with this.


Wakii Although I read it, it is a book that Mr. Akita's work up to now has been summarized, so this is an archive.Do you have any idea that you will be open to the public?For example, try to leave it in a form like a private museum.


Suzuki Last year, I was told from a close friend, "If you buy a villa per Hakone and do a cafe or something to see Mr. Akita's work," I was told.But, of course people who want to see things of the past are, of course, difficult when it comes to how many people will come there.After all design is something that is alive.The office had several copies of the finished books that were left for preservation, but I thought that it was the same as not being there if there was no chance to open it.So, leaving priority to what I can use for my work and what I loved Akita, then I thought it was correct as a book's way of going to the hands of people I wanted to read, so when handing it to an old book shop I also did not feel stress.



What is a museum that leaves a living design


Seki Certainly, because the design is merely a useful article, unlike the art, but it is what life is blown by be used.Even in the past interviews, everyone said that they want us to be useful in the future, meaning that it is meaningless to collect and become a dead stock.


Suzuki Also, since I want to show things that I collected individually as a world of art, there are things that make it a museum even if the scale is small.On the other hand, I feel that graphic design does not fit well with collector temperament.When selling Akita's books to an old book shop, from a friend who is doing a design-based bookstore, art-based books have collectors of work collections, but the graphics were told that the layers there are thin, Surely it is.That is difficult, is not it?


It may be true that the collector layer is thin.However, design has close relationship with society and industry, so in that sense it is also a mirror reflecting the times.Therefore, I think that it is very important to leave it in later generations.


Suzuki That's right.I think that whether it is the way of editing or the way of curation.In the meantime I took a picture of the Japanese pavilion of the V & A (Victoria & Albert) museum, but at that time it was an exhibition that Kitty was next to the girl in Gothic lolita and there was a rice cooker.It is difficult to read the context from there and I was made to think about the way of exhibition that is enough to convey Japanese products.So, what is the correct answer is the same as the art museum has in art and design, but since there are a lot of products, it is particularly difficult to choose which one to choose Let's see.


Seki There is a movement to make a design museum in Japan, but what do you think about that?


Suzuki I think it would be nice to have a design museum in Japan, but since I feel that I can not easily realize it depends on the government and the government, like the design museum in London, I have strong financial resources like Terence Conran I think that it would be more realistic for people to become mainstay.


Mr. Masayuki Kurokawa said that it was not just a living design but a dead body as well as just exhibiting the relationships .I think that it is important that Mr. Taku Sato's "dissection of design" or something related to society, or how to show it is important, but for posters, that kind of thing is possible ?


How about Suzuki ?I think that it differs depending on the poster and the work made for commercial purpose, and it depends on things.For example, Tanaka Kazumitsu 's poster exhibition is interesting if it is interesting even if only corporate items are lined up, so it seems interesting because there are flower birds and moons there.In terms of looking at what is interesting, I was wondering what I am talking about now, as to whether there are things like the fun and the fun of the things close to the times.


In the case of graphic graphics, digitization advances and the paper medium is steadily decreasing.In that case, I think that the manner of archival of graphic design will change drastically beyond a certain critical point in the future.


I feel that Suzuki graphics are easy to digitize.Although the book is also different, there is a merit that it is possible to save space if there are projectors that reflect the posters etc.I feel that if you think about what to leave preferentially rather than the texture of paper etc., you are right.


Wakui I do not throw it away anyway, it is important to keep it sorted out in some form and tell it to the next era.


Suzuki That's right.


If you have any concerns in the future, I would like to invite you to talk.Thank you for today.



Writer: Yukiko Wakui


The design archive of Kan Akita

For inquiries about the design archive,
Please contact from NPO corporate thinking platform website.


what is going on?
Design archives of these people

There is also the possibility of changing subjects of survey.

The subjects (individuals) to be surveyed have been selected, including those who have already died, referring to the 2006 Asahi Shimbun publication "The Great Masters who have designed Nippon".

* Is a person who has died.




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His character and his work continue to fascinate people all over the world.
Thirty years before his death, he held a symposium to connect the design of Kuramata to the younger generation from the past to the present and the future as "Introduction to Shiro Kuramata".


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