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About this event
We're excited to welcome Chris Palmieri for Episode 5 and explore the design research practice of Kon Wajiro in the early Showa Era.
Kon Wajiro and Street Ethnography in modern Tokyo
In 1925, architect Kon Wajiro embarked on a self-initiated study of the rapid change occurring in the wake of the Great Kanto Earthquake, encompassing everything from cataloging the entire belongings of a Tokyo couple, to tracking the length of skirts and the prominence of kimonos.
Chris will introduce Kon’s studies of shelter and clothing in the post-earthquake period, with a focus on his hand-sketch capture of detail to generate questions and build typologies. He will then guide us through an exercise in visual observation and inquiry.
Observation is a core skill of design research, though one we might associate too tightly with activities structured and planned to serve a project. Through Kon’s work, we ask what becomes possible when we observe, not to solve, but to understand the change happening around us?
Chris is a designer and the director of AQ, an independent design and research studio based in Tokyo and Paris, which he co-founded in 2004. He studied Graphic Design at the University of Illinois with coursework in Japanese language and aesthetics. Chris teaches Designing Everyday Life in Modern Japan at the University of Illinois, and co-edited Ian Lynam’s upcoming book on the history of Japanese graphic design.
This is a free, online event on Zoom. We welcome a wide audience of attendees, with an interest in design, strategy, research and architecture. No prior knowledge of Japanese history is required.
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About Design Research Tokyo
DRT is a community of design research practitioners in Tokyo, established in late 2018. We create in-person and online opportunities to learn from each other, curating events in different formats to feed our respective work in the broad context of research.
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