Design(Master’s Program)

Steps Toward Social Interaction Design

Defining the role and function of design in a new era as social interaction design, we foster human resources who can not only design physical items but also create new services and implement them in society. To this end, we have ensured that our program consists of specialized educational courses and research activities in the four fields of design, technology, management, and curation. At the same time, in cooperation with off-campus organizations, we offer project-based learning (PBL) field work and practica where the four fields are integrated.

Educational Program

We offer specialized design education and academic-industrial cooperative PBL opportunities through specialized courses and laboratory work. At the same time, to create new value for the future through interdisciplinary cooperation with those from different fields, we provide collaboration project courses in partnership with a wide variety of companies, organizations, research institutes, etc., thereby striving to foster human resources who can innovate products and services in a larger framework. We offer opportunities for students to experience cross-sectional teamwork on an increasingly large scale in a step-by-step manner, such as the Global Innovation Program, offered in collaboration with overseas companies, and cooperative projects in research units under the supervision of world-leading designers. By doing so, we help students obtain comprehensive design capabilities with which they can work in the global arena (i.e. capabilities for creating new value by integrating expertise in the fields of design, business, technology, and curation).

In the field of curation, students give oral presentations on their research themes to other students and faculty members in a seminar style and engage in many discussions. In addition, they are engaged in curation, using collections of the Museum and Archive, through Curatorial and Archival Museum Practica I to IV. By doing so, students obtain the fundamentals necessary for presenting their research and theses in the form of planning, edition, direction, and exhibition. These serve as good opportunities for would-be curators to acquire the ability to put their knowledge into practice.

Laboratory Information

Information Design Contemporary Design
With the rise and evolution of the information technology, the targets of design changed. Today’s designers work not only with the physical objects and space, but also with services in networks. At the same time, social complexity, from super-aging, mature society, globalization, and other factors make people’s needs difficult to see. Despite these social changes, finding needs and creating solutions are still the core work of designers. We are developing design methodologies that address social complexity by combining the logical collection and analysis of information with a sensory approach based on intuition and experience.

Research themes: Bottom-up Design Approach
Keywords: Product Design/Interaction Design/Design Methodology
In this laboratory, we examine the relationships between society and design, with a focus on three-dimensional design. In what ways do social challenges and the need for 3D objects arise? How can we help resolve these problems to a satisfactory degree through our design activities? We develop new design techniques to address social challenges and needs, through past and present case analysis as well as actual production and distribution site experience.

Research themes: Material and Service Design Direction
Keywords: Design Direction/Material Design/Service Design/Branding Design
Visual Design Communication Design
We investigate and analyze the role of visual design in our current world, applying logic and theory to examine its effects. At the same time, we explore methods of reflecting our findings in actual design activities to develop effective designs. Our research centers on typography, illustrations and photography, while also covering advertising, editorials, product development, and branding. We actively engage in hands-on designs that signal Kyoto traditions, developing products and holding exhibitions and other events.

Research themes: ・The development of graphic design・The Relationship between Traditional Japanese Crafts and Design
Keywords: Graphic Design/Editorial Design/Japanese Traditional Craft
“Life through Graphic Design”
We research 2D and 3D visual design viewing life in the light of the environment, objects, and information. Our focus is on design in product development, packaging, and brand-building. We make full use of typography, image processing, print technology, colors and materials, technique formulation, and information and sign system design. Our work has “value transmission” at its core. Through discussion and practice, we shed light on the nature of present-day visual design activities, and make our research results publically available.

Research themes: Development, construction and application of communication design
Keywords: Communication Design/Package Design/Graphic Design/Visual Design/V.I/C.I
Media Design Interior Design
Viewing all forms of communication as grounded in sender-recipient interaction, we examine the possibilities of media design, with a special focus on visual images. Our research covers the creation of content (e.g., videos, documentary films, animation production) which, each corresponding to an existing medium, serve as information transmission media. We also consider future visually-oriented media and means of communication that may appear on the horizon, actively envisaging their connections with fieldwork-based academic fields, such as anthropology and sociology.

Research themes: Research on media design practice using moving images that assumes important roles in both evidence and narrative capabilities
Keywords: Media Content/Communication Design/Visual Research/Community Archives
We rethink the concepts of convenience, beauty, and affluence provided by contemporary interior design in light of design ethics and environmental preservation, to pursue interior environments that are both physically durable and psychologically sustainable. Interior designers are expected to play a leading role in transforming the mindset of consumers and other end-users, inspiring them to take account of sustainability and economics. We develop human resources capable of holistically creating, maintaining, educating, and edifying designs in the coming “stock-oriented society”.

Research themes: Studying various roles of interior design to bring the real experience of our life’s richness
Keywords: Interior space/Interior products/Furniture/Maintenance and sustainability/Ethics for design
Product Design Planning Color & Affective Engineering
We research the extent of design. Specifically, through design we research and objectively study our immediate environment, plan and develop high-value products that balance relevant criteria based on in-depth exploration of the design concept, and effectively manage the product implementation process. In planning or developing a design, it is crucial to treat the landscape or corporate image as a brand or a design. How best can we have the market understand the intent of a firm? Realistic examination of people, objects, money, and information enable us to delve into ways to make designs work in business, and be implemented in actual projects.

Research themes: Product design planning through the perspective of design management
Keywords: Design Management / Product Design Planning / Design Theory / Branding / Networking
We are surrounded by a multitude of industrially-produced goods. Research into Color & Affective Engineering focuses on product characteristic analysis. Although evaluation methods vary, our research centers around bridging physical-chemical and human perspective evaluations. In particular, we research color evaluation in collaboration with institutes in Japan and abroad. More specifically, we work on the quantification of color impressions and their intercultural comparison, color marketing, global color communication as well as color evaluation of fiber-based products.

Research themes: Quantification of Sensory and Affective States
Keywords: Color Science/Affective Engineering/Textile Science
Information Technologies and Human Interface Living Environment and Human Response
We construct user-centric information environments and study user interfaces to realize smooth person to person communications via direct or information device systems. In creating information environments suitable to a variety of communication purposes, it is important to know how the stimuli of each medium affects and is perceived by our senses. We are working on proposing and evaluating user interfaces based on our knowledge of various human characteristics. Specially, the topics we examine include the use of tactile sensation information, such as vibration, as a new communication and user interface means, and the consideration of group brainstorming support utilizing virtual environments.

Research themes: Improvement of QOL, intellectual productivity by ICT/IoT
Keywords: User interface/Communication support/Idea generation/Processing support
Being awake and active in the daytime and asleep and restful at night is a biological feature of diurnal animals. However, this natural rest-activity cycle is seriously inhibited in today’s world, where the boundaries between night and day have become blurred. In order to adapt the balance between sleep and wakefulness to the daily living activities of individuals, we use chronobiological knowledge of human circadian rhythms, explore measurement and evaluation methods for human biological signals. We also study ways of improving our physical environment (e.g., light environment) and how to evaluate psychophysiological conditions related to our everyday activities. We regard these human-related engineering studies to be an essential area of design research for living space and product improvement.

Research themes: Psychophysiological effects of light environment on the human daytime activity and nighttime sleep
Keywords: Sleep-wake/Light environment/Human biological signals/Measurement and evaluation/Psychophysiological conditions
Facility Design Management Industrial Structures and Business Strategies
Our laboratory focuses on workplace space. A workplace consists of three elements: work style (organizational structures, work flow, etc.), work tools (groupware, ICT tools, etc.), and work space (physical space, office furniture, etc.). Creating an effective workplace or office requires the harmonious combination of these three elements. We observe behavior and the above elements in actual offices, identify problems, propose and implement solutions, and evaluate the outcomes. By repeating this process of survey, design, implement and evaluate, we develop methodologies for designing practical and effective offices. Both in the workplace and otherwise, issues requiring solutions are increasingly complex and entrenched due to the diversification of our values. To address this, research on computational design—the design of products and processes through digital means, integrating digital technology —is being examined as a new approach to contemporary space design.

Research themes: Workplace Design, Computational design and design tools
Keywords: Workplace/Computational design/Shape grammars
In line with rapid social and economic changes, corporate management must review industrial organization, structures, and social systems. We focus on innovation, one of the key drivers of such changes, delving into the impact and usage of innovation in company management. Our research area ranges from techno-economics, science and technological policies at the macroeconomic level, to the management of technology (MOT) at the microeconomic level. More specifically, we perform international comparisons of the availability of information technology, and investigate methods for the efficient selection of government projects in the field of techno-economics. In the field of techno-management, we examine corporate technology strategies and start-up strategies for techno-ventures. We focus not only on corporate management including intellectual asset management and regional resource management, but also on local area management and methods of assessing the monetary value of intellectual assets, including those related to technology.

Research themes: Research on the impact of innovation on corporate management and how to utilize it
Keywords: Innovation Theory/Management of Technology/Intellectual Property Theory
Customer-centered Design & Innovation History of Art and Design
Customer-centered Design & Innovation highlights exploring new interpretations of business-design innovations (e.g., products, systems, and services by a customer-centered perspective. For successful and sustainable innovations, the most critical issue is to identify emerging relationships among business, design, and technology, and the customer-centered approach is the core of identifying relationships for analyzing and synthesizing successful outcomes.

Research themes: Conduct research with diverse practical and theoretical approaches for the customer-centered design and innovation studies
Keywords: Digital Innovation/User Experience/Information Systems
We foster researchers who study the history of Western art, the history of European and Japanese modern art, design history, and contemporary design theory. Our laboratory expects students to learn not only from an intellectual viewpoint, which relies exclusively on literature and documents, but also from hands-on activities. They are required to present what they have learned from their activities in the form of a thesis. Students in this laboratory are expected to find careers as museum curators, in the press/media, or as university staff who can teach both practical and lecture-based subjects.

Research themes: Research on modern arts and contemporary design, focusing on Modern Art and Art Nouveau
Keywords: History of art and design/Curation
Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art Theory of Contemporary Art
We inquire into the theory of art investigating various work from genres such as; painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, film, theater, music, and literature. How does art transform and develop our notion of time, space and the body? How does it influence and mature our aesthetic sense or imagination? When the discussion regarding art is taken to a deeper level, it becomes a discussion regarding human perception, cognition, and moreover, human existence. Each student is required to determine his or her own research theme, study the subject in depth, and, complete a master’s or doctoral thesis on it. Research presentations, question-and-answer sessions, and discussions in the seminar contribute to in-depth exploration.

Research themes: The significance and potential of sensitivity and imagination in human life and art
Keywords: Aesthetic Experience / Artistic Genres / Sensibility / Imagination / Form
We investigate contemporary art from multiple approaches. Contemporary art questions established values and creates new ones. An artwork can be understood as a form of personal expression, but behind it is a historical, geographical, cultural, or political context that even its creator is unaware of. Once an artwork is interpreted, the meaning that the interpretation teases out may alter the nature of the expression itself. Thus, studying contemporary art is also about questioning common values shared by society and looking at culture and society as a whole.

Research themes: Considering contemporary art practice in social contexts (communication, conflicts, transformation)
Keywords: Contemporary Art/Reception/Curation
Culture and Representation Design Thinking, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship
We analyze every aspect of works of art using multiple methods. My specialization is Japanese art (in particular, drawings on folding screens and sliding doors used in buildings and ceremony halls). I investigate the locations and the iconographical meaning of those works. Studying various methodologies to reveal the rich world of human creation through multidisciplinary research across the disciplines of literature, history, and architecture from specific periods, is the aim of this lab. Students study works of art or themes from any locality, culture, or era, and convey what they have learned in their own words.

Research themes: Research on visual arts, especially Japanese art, from an interdisciplinary perspective
Keywords: History of Japanese Art and Culture
How do we create new value in the world? Innovation has gone from a niche word to a business buzzword over the last few decades. Design Thinking did not exist two decades ago, now everyone is talking about it. Startups and the Silicon Valley ethos have transformed from being a subculture to the focus of many cities. How do ideas become products, products become companies, and companies become successful? We look at the micro and macro level process and context for creating new value in the world, not restricted to any specific industry, product/service, or geography.

Research themes: Research on creating and delivering new value for people, companies, and society
Keywords: Design Thinking/Innovation/Entrepreneurship
Design for Sustainability
With the rapid development and personalization of technologies such as open design, digital fabrication, and biotechnology, the training of individuals with the ingenuity and experimental equipment to use these technologies for artistic expression, cultural diversification, problem solving, and in everyday life has emerged as a movement. Working with designers, artists, researchers, and citizens who are implementing various design practices, we envision possible futures in which these technologies could empower us. We also focus on the potential of these technologies in resource circulation as well as in our mutualistic-symbiotic relationship with other environmental actors/resources.
Overall, we explore a range of approaches to enhancing the sustainability of human civilization.

Research themes: Design, Fab, and Bio: Practical sustainability research
Keywords: Resource Circulation/Life Cycle Design/Circular Design/Personal Fabrication

Academic Programs