Projects

Projects serve a crucial role in the IAMAS curriculum: they set the framework for students’ individual graduate research. Through these interdisciplinary Projects, we endeavor to measure the social significance of media creation, share the results of our work with society, and build an environment of strong collaboration with those outside the school. Through these cooperative activities, students acquire experience and know-how in multiple fields, and seek to effectively synthesize this knowledge to further advance research and technological development. Another aim of these projects is to help students develop planning skills, organizational ability, a comprehensive perspective on media creation, and management experience in guiding an idea through to its realization.

Art Thinking Project

Art Thinking Project

Research Representative(s):
Masahiro Kobayashi
Research Member(s):
Yasuhiko Ando

Research Period

2012 - Present

Research Outline

The purpose of this project is to support students in their diverse art research and practice: the presentation and planning of an artwork’s exhibition, performance, art criticism, etc. The project is conducted in seminar format, focusing on the presentation and discussion of each student’s activities, the discussion of readings, and the viewing and criticism of art exhibitions.

This year too we hope to refine the theme of our discussions based on these key concepts: media art, art and locality, and art and the body.

By making our way to as many exhibitions in as many places as we can, we aim to experience art in the present, at the same time studying texts that deal with creative expression.

The title Art Thinking Project, refers to thinking about the significance of artistic creation itself, as well as considering various social and cultural problems through the medium of artwork and art production.

Research Plan

The examination of materials (texts, digital books, exhibitions), discussion, the viewing of art exhibits, and the analysis of critical progress reports.
Prototyping Tomorrow Project

Prototyping Tomorrow Project

Research Representative(s):
Nobuya Suzuki
Research Member(s):
Kyo Akabane

Research Period

2014 - Present

Research Outline

The goal of this project is to conceptualize current social problems; and, by building cutting-edge prototypes, create a new vision of the future. Throughout our activities, we keep in mind the prototype’s actual creation process. Our prototypes – in addition to being examples of Interaction Design, design that prioritizes user experience – make use of information and communications technology while investigating the significance of this technology in society. What we call prototypes are not limited to actual functioning objects that can be experienced, but also include concepts, experimental endeavors that deal with educational workshops, social infrastructure, and more.

The main significance and value of prototyping lies in the thinking tools and the design process used in the realization of an idea. Accordingly, this project incorporates various approaches: IAMAS’s uniquely developed prototyping method, ordinary design thinking, Human Centered Design, service design, etc. While trying our hand at each method, we simultaneous investigate the method itself as an object of research. This project is not something a student does alone; rather, each engages with fellow students or the instructors in joint collaboration. This experience allows to students acquire a methodology that will help them to drive their own projects.

Research Plan

Students will experience the full sequence of the prototyping process. After establishing a research theme, we will come up with ideas derived from that theme. Then, we will create prototypes to bring those ideas to life. Finally, we will gather user feedback about our prototypes.

Faculty and students carry out group study sessions, gaining both knowledge and practical ability, and laying a foundation for their joint collaboration. Whenever the need arises, we will examine the thinking tools, design process, programming, etc. to be employed.

The primary activities of the project’s first section revolve around the development of a research theme and the acquisition of essential skills; the main goals are research and idea generation. The next objective is to build a prototype with the intention of displaying the work at our August exhibition. This exhibition and conferences taking place in September and March are milestones for the progress of our research.

Exhibition and academic conferences being held in September and March will be our milestones as we proceed with our research.

New TOY Project

New TOY Project

Research Representative(s):
Ryota Kuwakubo
Research Member(s):
Tomoko Kanayama

Research Period

2016 - Present

Research Outline

Participants select their own theme, and, cycling through the three stages, “create,” “convey,” “consider,” use this theme to explore new forms of creation.

One of the great problems that contemporary society faces is the gap between academism and populism. Where places of academic research come into contact with wider society, a dilemma presents itself: the more specialization progresses, the less is conveyed to those outside of that specialization.

No matter how slight an idea or discovery, there are important points to consider: who will convey it, how will they convey it, and to whom will it be conveyed? When conducting research in media creation, it is of course important to scrutinize the contents of that research; however, one cannot ignore the problem of how to convey its results. For this reason, we will deal with creation as a consecutive process whose stages are “create,” “convey,” and “consider.”

We will not be concern ourselves about how our work matches the conventions established in existing genres – whether or not it conforms to ideas about what “art,” “design,” “entertainment,” or “engineering” is or should be. Rather, students can freely delve into their own areas of interest. In order to fully shift our attention to communication with people and society, we call our creations as “TOYs” and proceed from there.

Similarly, we will not fuss over whether or not we present our work in a conventional format. The venue – whether it be a commercial facility, public space, school, garden, etc. – the target audience for these presentations and opportunities for dialogue will be determined by our theme. Through these TOYs, we will attempt to communicate with a broad spectrum of people and society.

The aim of this approach is not to disparage each and every specific genre or specialty field. Rather, we seek to eventually illuminate and reevaluate the context of each, and to determine the contextual location of our own creations. For that purpose, we will take the opportunity to invite specialists and guests of various fields from within and without our school, and engage them in commentary and discussion.

Research Plan

  • Preliminary study
  • Research of reference materials, examples of prior work and exhibitions, etc.
  • Individual production and group review.
  • Public presentation (as an exhibition, workshop, or in some other form) and audience feedback.
  • Guest lecture and discussion.
  • Evaluation of personal work and the project as a whole.
Reality Arts

Reality Arts

Research Representative(s):
Masayuki Akamatsu
Research Member(s):
Yasuko ImuraNobuya SuzukiAkira SegawaShigeru Matsui

Research Period

2018 - Present

Research Outline

As part of “Art with a Sense of Reality,” we will create works and research the outdoor’s sense of reality through a smartphone application to be used at Mt. Norikura and Mount Hotakadake of the Chūbu-Sangaku National Park. Specifically, we intend to develop an information display for mountain climbers using AR (Augmented Reality) and an experience display for non-climbers using VR (Virtual Reality). Through this, we will research methods of augmenting reality through technology, and search for the possibilities of new sensations and conduct that are not limited to conventional mountain-climbing and tourism. We have been asked to provide a design for an easy-to-understand, fun experience for an unspecified large number of users.

Furthermore, we recommend simultaneously taking “Mobile Art,” a project related “Art with a Sense of Reality” in its thinking and the technology it uses. We also recommend participating in the extracurricular “Critical Cycling,” a group that chases after the critical thinking involved in cycling.

Research Plan

  • Investigating related works and examples.
  • Preparation and coordination with collaborators.
  • Planning and production of smartphone application and exhibition device.
  • General release and management of smartphone application and exhibition device.
  • Implementing debriefing sessions and writing reports
Mobility Arts

Mobility Arts

Research Representative(s):
Masayuki Akamatsu
Research Member(s):
Yasuko ImuraNobuya SuzukiAkira SegawaShigeru Matsui

Research Period

2017 - Present

Research Outline

“Mobility Arts”is an art project centered around “mobile” devices and tools like bicycles and drones as well as the people who use them. By considering what it means “to move,” we search for new possibilities for creative expression. For our main activity, we will plan and manage the event “Yoro Art Picnic” in Gifu Prefecture’s Yoro Park, continuing from last year. We will also create work to be exhibited there. Because the event is geared towards an unspecified large number of people and takes place outdoors or within temporary tents, we must approach our work differently from how we would if we were creating pieces for an indoor exhibition. With our sights set on going beyond short-term events, creating a permanent space for our activities, we will plan and begin to implement our projects for the next three years.

We recommend simultaneously enrolling in “Reality Arts,” a project related to this one in the technology and thinking it incorporates, as well as participating in “Critical Cycling,” an extracurricular group that chases after the critical thinking involved in cycling.

Research Plan

  • Examine previous work and examples.
  • Plan and design event.
  • Prepare and coordinate with collaborators.
  • Create, exhibit, and perform works to be exhibited.
  • Write progress reports and present them.
Enhanced Experience Environment Project

Enhanced Experience Environment Project

Research Representative(s):
Masami Hirabayashi
Research Member(s):
Takahiro Kobayashi

Research Period

2015 - Present

Research Outline

It is conjectured that when humankind has achieved the Singularity – the point at which artificial intelligence has surpassed the collective intelligence of humanity – the world will undergo a great paradigm shift. Conventional extrapolative methods of technological forecasting will become impossible. In this project, while considering the potential impact of the Singularity, we will conduct research towards the creation of an environment that will allow for the expansion of our experience.

In order to bring to life futuristic experiences based on real space, information spaces such as the internet, and AI built with environmental sensors and deep learning, we will make full use of available technology, considering and developing its practical usage in creating works of art or implementing systems and services.

Research Plan

To start off, we will establish study sessions to share knowledge about contemporary research trends and basic technology in order to conjecture what a post-singularity future might be like. We will hold these sessions based on the needs of the participants; so, whatever the participant’s knowledge at the time of enrollment, any deficient areas can be made up for with adequate motivation.

We take as our objectives those experiences which merit expansion and the creation of environments where such expansion can be realized. Students will hypothesize which events and situations might be conducive to this, and progress in their work either individually or in teams.

As an environment for expanding experiences, we recommend providing opportunities to practically develop all kinds of events and exhibitions including those related to NxPC.Lab; therefore, we will work to improve user tests and conduct experiments in actual society.

The results of our work will not be research alone; we also stress importance of creative expression and entertainment that can serve to expand experience. Therefore, we aim to develop our work through a variety of methods: presentations at academic conferences, exhibitions at events, implementing events themselves, exhibitions as artwork, etc.

Time-Based Media Project

Time-Based Media Project

Research Representative(s):
Masahiro Miwa
Research Member(s):
Shinjiro Maeda

Research Period

2018 - Present

Research Outline

Since the invention of the gramophone, photography, and film, humanity has come to expand the possibilities of creative expressions usings devices in a number of shapes, and has come to have daily (pseudo) experiences of things that do not exist here and now. The new spacetime of computer networks, a space in which visual and audio creations are digitized and unified, has come to exist as a kind of second reality.

In this situation, what significance does this thing they call “art” have for us now? In this project, we focus on art in time – that is, various creative expressions that occur in the passage of time – and we will address this question through both the study and practice of creative expressions usings devices in addition to traditional art. This is a quest to explore relationship between machines and our bodies as well as an investigation into the connection between media and human existence.

Research Plan

Centered around weekly meetings, we conduct our research both through year-round activities and through events of a limited duration like presentations outside the school. Students will create their own work as a part of this project. In the first year of our scheduled three-year plan, we will proceed while bearing in mind the topics written below.

Particularly, we will position Gamelan music as a form of art within time created by humanity, and approach it not merely with the goal of research but also with the aim of learning from its foundations. At the same time, I would like for us to regularly broadcast/present our work online via net streaming as form of creative expression possible on the new spacetime of computer networks. Regarding our outside presentations, we will consider how each relates to this project based on a case-by-case basis.

  • Gamelan music research, practice, and examination (year-round)
  • Video creation research including livestreaming (year-round)
  • Gamelan Universe, IAMAS Summer Vacation Kids’ College (September)
  • Project Research Presentation (February)
  • Intercollege・Sonic Art・Festival 2018, 35th Japanese Society for Sonic Arts (JSSA) Research Group (March).
Neo Co-Creation

Neo Co-Creation

Research Representative(s):
Tomoko Kanayama
Research Member(s):
Takahiro KobayashiShigeki Yoshida
Web:
http://neo.iamas.ac.jp/

Research Period

2015 - Present

Research Outline

In this project, we pursue a sustainable, jointly-developed society in the Neo Region of Gifu Prefecture’s Mototsu City (formerly called Neo Village) while interacting with the residents of that region, people who have created and inherit a variety of everyday cultural practices

Neo is a region of abundant natural and cultural heritage. This includes the Nogo Hakusan Shrine, opened by seventh century monk Shonin Taichi; Noh theater and Kyogen comedies, passed down from the Keicho era (late 16th to early 17th century) as oral tradition; and the Usuzumi cherry blossoms, over 1500 years old. In Neo – as in other mountain villages – people’s livelihoods are intertwined with production, giving rise to many tools and cultural forms. However, 40% or more of the region is made up of marginal villages, villages with increasingly severe problems: a rapidly aging population, a lack of successors, empty houses, and harmful vermin. However, the people of Neo have a great force of will and sense to maintaining their livelihood by fostering their skill and culture, much greater than that of “outsiders” and the autonomous systems of the contemporary age.

There is a transformation approaching our civilization, a bloated civilization that continually creates new things as it breaks the old. In this context, we will use new techniques and perspectives to reassess the wisdom, skill, and experience of a region whose time cycles with nature. Through this, we will contemplate a future sustainable society, steady-state economy, and what it means “to live.”

Research Plan

Our activities in this project, currently in its fourth year, are centered around our two bases of operations (Neo-co Za and Jackie House) as well as local agricultural fields. Through fieldwork in the marginal village of Neo, we search for a method of connecting this disappearing village culture to the future in a different shape, expressing the things, ideas, and people we find as new forms of memory and recording. Additionally, through agricultural work in unused farmland, we will consider elements such as energy, technology, and regional community that might compose a new society.

Technology for Welfare Project

Technology for Welfare Project

Research Representative(s):
Koji Yamada
Research Member(s):
Takahiro Kobayashi

Research Period

2014 - Present

Research Outline

We who are living in modern society find that our lifestyles and our values are diversifying. The aim of our project is to solve with technology the inconveniences and issues we sometimes feel, to propose a new ways of living, and to work toward a future filled with hope. In this project, we are not limited to a “narrow welfare” typified by welfare for people living with disabilities; rather, we deal with a broader theme. Our emphasis is to proceed while planning mutual exchange with people and organizations related to our chosen topic. After that, we will discover concrete proposals and solutions based on our discussions with other members. Another important point that we will consider is whether or not the our efforts will result in a merely temporary improvement, or if things will be better even after we finish the project. We will try to adopt a stance that allows us to see from a broad perspective that which the person concerned may not.

Research Plan

Our Activities in 2017 (for reference):
June: Visited Gifu Asoshia and exchanged opinions with the director.
July: Exhibited our progress on Art Market at IAMAS Open House.
August: Presented at a conference on vocational rehabilitation.
October: Exhibited at A Little Exhibition: Welfare Devices and Home Improvement.
December: Presented at ATAC Conference Kyoto
February: Exhibited at the Project Research Presentation
※ As necessary, we conducted fieldwork in collaboration with special education schools and welfare organizations.
※ In 2017 we participated in the Art Market (held from 8/25 to 11/3) put on by the Gifu Prefectural Museum.
※ We have previously dealt with themes related to people with disabilities, developing countries, forestry, childhood education, and nutrition.

NxPC.Lab

NxPC.Lab

Research Representative(s):
Masami Hirabayashi
Web:
http://nxpclab.info/

Research Period

2016 - Present

Research Outline

In the NxPC.Lab (Next-dimension Plural media Club experience Laboratory) project, we present research on technology which expands the sense of presence of music venues like live houses and clubs, and which leads the way toward the next stage of communication in the music space.

Nowadays, interactivity and inclusivity in our media experiences is becoming a matter of course. The same is true for music: it is possible to expand an audience’s experience using technology that facilitates the interaction of artist, viewer, venue and online space, and to expand the music’s sense of presence.

In this project, we will conduct practical research: holding music events in which to carry out the examination, research, and development of new technology applicable to the music venue.

We will hold study groups as necessary to learn technological fundamentals as we experiment through our events. From new attempts at DJ’ing and VJ’ing to experimentation and event management within the venue space, it is possible for members to participate in a variety of areas.

Besides events at the school, we aim to hold a number of outside events each year at cities like Tokyo, Nagoya, and Kyoto, collaborating with the Enhanced Experience Environment Project and Interim Report.

Platform for Creation in Future

Platform for Creation in Future

Research Representative(s):
Akitsugu Maebayashi
Web:
http://sozonoplatform.blogspot.jp/

Research Period

2014 - Present

Research Outline

In this project, we will widen our thoughts’ range of motion and search for the shape that creation will take in the coming era by investigating topics in contemporary society, sharing in the expertise of those active in various fields like art, design, thought, and lifestyle.

Previous workshops and lectures:

  • First Session: “Entomophagy for Survival”
    Instructor: Kenichi Nonaka (Professor, Rikkyo University)
  • Second Session: “An Idea Called ‘Self Building’”
    Instructor: Yosuke Shimizu (Representative, Doppo Village), Daisuke Kurokawa (Chairman, Woodworking Studio Yui)
  • Third Session: “The Nation and the Internet”
    Instructor: Shinichiro Wada (Associate Professor, Chubu University)
  • Fourth Session: “Francis Alÿs: A Story Born on the Borderline”
    Instructor: Kazuhiko Yoshizaki (Curator, Museum of National Art, Tokyo)
  • Fifth Session: Workshop, “Adult Dietary Education”
    Instructor: Kousei and Megumi Shimizu (Restaurant Manager, “Tricolore”)
  • Sixth Session: “Weak Robots: The Possibilities of Inability”
    Instructor: Michio Okada (Professor, Toyohashi University of Technology)
  • Seventh Session: “Regions Being Built: Ibi District and Ikeda Town”
    Instructor: Shuhei Tsuchikawa (Manager, Tsuchikawa Shoten)
  • Eight Meeting: “Draw, Draw, Draw a Picture! : What You Need to Live the Now”
    Instructor: Arthur Birnard (Poet)
  • Ninth Session: “Mt. Kinsho and Myoujourin Temple”
    Instructor: Seiun Tomita (Head Priest, Myoujourin Temple)
  • Tenth Session: “Itosihro’s Small-Scale Hydroelectric Power: The Power of Potential Autonomy”
    Instructor: Akihide Hirano (Vice Chief Director, Regional Renaissance Agency)
  • Eleventh Session: “Listening to the Voice of Earth; the Sound of Time: From Life and Livelifood in Gujo Hachiman”
    Instructor: Hiroto Inoue (Producer, Gujo Hachiman Music Festival)